Reading Poetry: Where Do Poems Take Us?


Course Description

All Winter 2021 courses will take place on Zoom. Readings will be available online and by in-person retrieval.

Seamus Heaney says that one of his own constant themes is that poetry must be an answer to a question and that "the poet must give the answer in the specific language of poetry, rather than in the language of the world that provoked the question." In this course, we will experience the pleasure and surprise of poetry by reading poems aloud and searching together for the poets' questions. We will also ask our own questions, such as why does poetry, more than any other medium, provoke delight and contempt in equal measure? How does poetry succeed in expressing the desire to transcend the finite and the historical? What impulse moves poets to engage in the impossible task of expressing the inexpressible?

Each week we will focus on one of the following poets: William Blake, W.B. Yeats, Emily Dickinson, W.H. Auden, Dennis Brutus, Mary Oliver, Seamus Heaney, and Tony Hoagland.

Books to purchase:


This course is now FULL. If you would like to join the waitlist, email us at Should vacancies develop, those on the waiting list will be contacted on a first-come, first-served basis.

Course Details

First Session: Monday 18 January 2021

Course Length: 10 weeks (consecutive), Mondays, 1:30 p.m. - 3:30 p.m.

Discussion Team: Imogen Brian, Jackie Harvey, Barbara Rolston

Degree Credit: Half credit

Course Fees: 

$140.00 (standard tuition)

$95.00 (promotion for new students)

Administrative Fee:



$175.00 (standard tuition)

$130.00 (promotion for new students)


Course fees are refundable in full before the second session. After the second session, a fee of $50 for the withdrawal will be applied. Refunds will not be issued after the third session. Please note that non-attendance does not constitute a withdrawal.

Students pursuing studies for credit are encouraged to consult with their advisers as they register for courses.

Course leaders, and students wishing to use credit vouchers, should call (514) 935-9585 to pay by phone or to schedule an appointment to pay in person.

Questions? Stuck? Give us a call at (514) 935-9585
or email us at