Unit 2 – “Vivid Voices” Finding personal voice through poetry

As artists become masters of their craft, they often develop a distinctive style. Painters, illustrators, movie directors… all individual artists develop a style that sets them apart from others. Writers also develop an individual style and we call this ‘voice’. We will investigate how to describe the ‘voice’ of a professional writer and also learn to develop our own unique style. You will first be responsible for choosing a famous female poet and conducting a depth study on her work. Then, you will do some creative writing of your own!


Session 1 – “Vivid Voices” – Idiolect
We introduce the new unit by considering the concept of ‘voice’ – what is it? How is it produced? Why is it important? What makes our individual voices unique?

Session 2 – Techniques for creating voice – linguistic techniques
Today we learn the mechanical parts of language that combine to create a sense of voice. We will apply these tools to an analysis of Billy Collins’ poetry.

Session 3 – Grammar and Voice – mood, modals and active vs. passive
Grammar?!? Really? Actually, grammar plays a big part of authorial voice, so today we will learn about the more functional aspects of the language, such as modality, objectivity/subjectivity, active/passive voice, and verbal mood/sentence types.

Session 4 – Discussing Poetry (oral commentary)
Organising and presenting an in-depth analysis in an organised and succinct fashion is a challenging task that requires good thinking and communication skills. We will develop these skills during this series of lessons!

Session 5 – Researching a Poet
Now that we have completed a study of a poet’s voice as a group, it is time to strike out on your own and become an independent researcher! In these lessons, you will select and research a poet and her poetry.

Session 6 – Writing a Review
Now that we have completed our research, we are ready to write! We will learn how to deconstruct a model or ‘mentor’ text t use as a guide for our own writing.

Session 7 – Creative Writing in Poetry
What is the difference between poetry and prose? Why write in poetry at all? In these lessons, we will begin by discussing the difference between poetry and prose and then complete a series of exercises to boost our skills in poetry writing. We will show our understanding in an original poem.