2481 Online: Moniack in a Month – Poetry with John Glenday

2481 Online: Moniack in a Month – Poetry with John Glenday

Date(s) - Thu 22nd Aug - Fri 13th Sep, 2024
6:30pm - 8:30pm

The Four Elements of Poetry

Join poet John Glenday online in a small group of 12 participants for an intensive month of workshops which will use examples, exercises, discussions and readings to create new poems and hone editing skills. In a step by step series of workshops we’ll learn how to draft, structure, revise and polish poems for maximum impact and effect. We’ll create new poems and learn how to encourage existing poems to grow stronger and healthier, looking at outstanding examples by Kathleen Jamie, Terrance Hayes, Vona Groarke, Don Paterson, Victoria Adukwei Bulley and Anne Carson to discover what makes great poetry thrive. 

A poem only lives half a life on the page, and comes fully into existence in the imagination of the reader. This sequential series of workshops will take us from first beginnings to the final draft, exploring what elements make a poem stand out from the crowd for both reader and editor. 

Moniack in a Month: Poetry – The Four Elements of Poetry includes: 

  • a short introductory welcome session 
  • four stimulating online workshops, preceded by optional drop-in social time 
  • one 30-minute tutorial 
  • a Guest Writer event
  • a final ceilidh session – sharing of work 
  • Contact and support from your community of writers via Google Classroom (optional) 
  • Drop-ins before each workshop to help you get to know your group (optional) 
  • Support from your Moniack Mhor host
John’s workshops will focus on the following themes:

Workshop 1 First Impressions

The fire of inspiration love it or hate it, we’ll explore the passions and pitfalls of the creative process and pick up tips on how to beat the scourge of Writer’s Block and avoid the even more problematic Reader’s Block.   

Workshop 2 Second Thoughts

The initial draft is only the first step in producing a finished poem. So how can we take those first tentative jottings to the next level, and in so doing discover the ‘real’ poem hidden behind those first thoughts? 

Workshop 3 – Mind Your Language

How can we craft poems that can live on the page but also thrive in the air? A great poem is as much about how it is said as what it’s saying. We’ll look at editing techniques for turning so-so poems into told-you-so poems and touch on readings and performance. 

Workshop 4 – The Sense of an Ending

Sometimes the ‘true’ ending of a poem isn’t where we expect to find it. Those transformative, compelling final lines can be hidden, even from the poet themselves. We’ll search for endings (and perhaps beginnings) and learn how these can turn good poems into something great. 

Guest Writer Event

In an hour-long event that will also be open to the public, writer Helen Mort will read from her work and be in conversation with John Glenday. There will also be time for questions from the audience.



Week 1        Thursday                  22 Aug         18:30–21:00      Welcome Session and Workshop 1

Week 2        Thursday                  29 Aug       18:30–20:30      Workshop 2

Week 3        Wednesday                 4 Sep        20:00–21:00      Guest Writer Event

Week 3        Thursday                     5 Sep       18:30–20:30      Workshop 3

Week 4        Thursday                    12 Sep       18:30–20:30      Workshop 4

Week 4        Friday                         13 Sep       18:30–20:30       Ceilidh



Your one-to-one tutorial with John will be scheduled when the course starts.



John Glenday is the author of four collections. The Apple Ghost (Peterloo Poets 1989) won a Scottish Arts Council Book Award and Undark (Peterloo Poets 1995) was a Poetry Book Society Recommendation. Grain (Picador, 2009) was also a Poetry Book Society Recommendation and shortlisted for both the Ted Hughes Award and the Griffin International Poetry Prize. The Golden Mean (Picador 2015) was shortlisted for the Saltire Scottish Poetry Book of the Year and won the 2015 Roehampton Poetry Prize. His most recent publications are a limited edition artbook in collaboration with Maria Isakova Bennett, mira (Coast to Coast to Coast 2019) and a pamphlet, The Firth (Mariscat Press 2020). His Selected Poems also came out with Picador in 2020. In 2022 he was a judge for both the Saltire Scottish First Book of the Year and the Michael Marks Poetry Award.

Guest Writer

Helen Mort is a poet, novelist and creative non-fiction writer from Sheffield, South Yorkshire. Her collections Division Street, No Map Could Show Them and The Illustrated Woman are published by Chatto & Windus. She’s a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature and teaches Creative Writing at Manchester Metropolitan University. She has also written and presented for BBC Radio 4 and Radio 3.



The full fee for this online course is £360.  A deposit of £100 is required to secure your place, which is non-refundable after a 14-day cooling-off period. The balance payment of £260 is due six weeks before the course begins.

Bursaries are available, and you also have the option to pay in instalments, please email online@moniackmhor.org.uk to enquire.

All activity takes place on Zoom, and workshops include a short break. Moniack Mhor staff will be on hand to support you during your course. 

For more information please email online@moniackmhor.org.uk.


Please let us know in your booking form if you have any access requirements when working online so we can do our best to support you. For more information about access to our courses, please visit our Access page.

Terms and Conditions

Please read our Terms & Conditions before booking.


Ticket Type Price Spaces
Access to Online Course (Deposit) £100.00
Access to Online Course (Full Payment) £360.00


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