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