A Magical Clockwork
Lessons in Writing
the Poem

Poets’ Comments

FROM 1988 TO 2002

For 14 years, Wordwrights Canada ran a print version of the course by mail, under the name The Poetry Tutorial. The comments below were made by some of its many graduates.

“Very thorough, detailed exposure to the art of writing poetry. It was obvious from start to finish that I was learning essential things from a person who not only knew how to write fine poems, but could transfer her knowledge, skill and enthusiasm to my head, heart and hands. . . . a dynamic hands-on method of learning poetry for an amazingly nominal fee.” (Billy Dean, Yucca Valley, California, U.S.A.)

“I’ve learned how to make the poems come alive and I’m finally comfortable with experimenting with forms to fit content and being a tough editor without losing the imagery or effectiveness of a poem. Thank you so much.” (Katherine Kostyniuk, Carvel, Alberta, Canada)

“I was impressed throughout. The lessons changed what sometimes seemed to be obscure and esoteric into simple, easily understandable material.” (K.V. Skene, Swanage, Dorset, U.K.)

“A very good introduction into the basics of poetry. It leaves me hungry for more: learning and writing.” (Sigridh Kiersch, 100 Mile House, British Columbia, Canada)

“It gets a writer into a routine and makes one aware of the importance of little things that might be overlooked.” (Dorothy Tupper, Stratford, Ontario, Canada)

“It was excellent! It answered many questions and showed me that I could write almost any time if I put my mind to it. I don’t necessarily have to wait for that wonderful moment of inspiration as I used to believe (and which so seldom comes). I also appreciate other poetry more. Very rewarding, confidence building.” (Francis Thompson, Uxbridge, Ontario, Canada)

“I would not hesitate to recommend this course to anyone interested in obtaining a good background in writing poetry.” (Marguerite Norlander, Cochrane, Alberta, Canada)

“Thank you for a truly challenging and enjoyable course.” (Carl A. Lapp, London, Ontario, Canada)

“When I look at what I was doing a year ago and compare it with the work I have been turning out for the course, I am amazed, and tremendously encouraged. Having an assignment take wing and become a published poem is proof! (K.L. Clarke, Lakefield, Ontario, Canada)


We trust that writers who take the expanded, online version of the course Lessons in Writing the Poem will find it just as helpful for learning the elements of writing craft and developing their poetic skill.

One of the first to enrol in the online course commented:

“I really appreciate the format and the approach of your course. You have definitely filled in a huge gap for those of us who have no way of learning how to write poetry—bridging our attempts to decipher an approach from the poems we read and actually writing with intention and some skill.” (Helen Montgomery, Truro, Nova Scotia, Canada)
Another welcomed the flexibility of Lessons in Writing the Poem:
“One of the reasons I’ve chosen your course is that I can pace it according to my schedule....With your course I can savor the process, revisit some fundamentals, and not feel guilty trying to keep up. Also, when I have something ready to send, I can link up with one of your mentors/editors and submit things as they’re ready for comment.” (Terry Minchow-Proffitt, Kirkwood, Missouri, USA)
A recent graduate discovered lasting value:
“I just finished your course Lessons in Writing the Poem and found it very good. I have previously studied poetry at the university level and also in private settings. Your course was more thorough than most and taught me new insights into writing poetry as well as reminded me of techniques I have already learned ... [I] will undoubtedly refer to its various chapters again and again.” (Sandra Sjollema, Montreal, Quebec, Canada)

Return to About the Course

Updated June 2015
Copyright © 2015 Susan Ioannou (Wordwrights Canada)

E-mail wordwrights@sympatico.ca