Through a Screen Darkly: Writing Poetry That Keeps You Up at Night

17 Feb 2024 (Sat) -
09 Mar 2024 (Sat)

$168.00 - $280.00

Through a Screen Darkly: Writing Poetry That Keeps You Up at Night

17 Feb 2024 (Sat) - 09 Mar 2024 (Sat)

Date and Time

17 Feb 2024 : 10:00 - 13:00

24 Feb 2024 : 10:00 - 13:00

02 Mar 2024 : 10:00 - 13:00

09 Mar 2024 : 10:00 - 13:00

Location / Links

Singapore Book Council Training Room, 90 Goodman Road, Goodman Arts Centre, Block E #03-32, Singapore 439053

$168.00 - $280.00

Find Out More

Event Details

Why write poetry, as opposed to fiction, or a dramatic piece? This question is at the heart of this four-week programme as we unravel the complex impulses and inspirations that go into the poetic pursuit and how these can ignite our writings.

For too long, poetry has been taught and mined for meaning first. As T. S. Eliot says: “Genuine poetry can communicate before it is understood.” That’s the beautiful power of poetry which can excavate even as your mind has yet to unravel it.

By interrogating one’s own motivations and then embracing the poetic imagination, this series of workshops will take you through the various stages of verse fruition, from harnessing the initial spark (of hope, or fear, or both), to examining the armoury of tools for self-expression (through other art forms such as films and music), to ascertaining the range of approaches which best steer and keep you on the edge, and to finally unleashing the poems to the outside world, come what may.

Every week, participants will be encouraged to write prompt-led poetry, and share their poems and opinions on each other’s work.

Course Objectives:
-To introduce participants the joys of appreciating poetry
-To acquire the basic tenets of poetry and how participants can start writing their own poems via hands-on exercises
-To learn from other art forms such as films and music and be sensitised to worldly inspirations

Learning Outcomes:
-Appreciate the artistic richness of poetry
Enhance your writing skills through exercises and sharing sessions
-Explore multifarious creative outlets through other art forms and expand your creative repertoire

Programme Itinerary:
First Session: THE SPARK (17 February 2024)
How does an idea for a poem come about? How does one allow an embryo of a feeling, a concept, or an issue, to evolve and develop? This session delves into the factors to consider when trying to give voice to a spark. Whether it’s a memory, a person, or an artificial prompt, it can help you to confront the genuine root for that poetic investigation, and how we can start afresh, abuzz, ready for all possibilities.

Second Session: THE ARMOURY (24 February 2024)
You’ve got an iota of an idea, but where do we go from here? This session introduces the formal strategies – form, rhythm, imagery – which anchor your poetic expression. Aside from the tried-and-tested, we will also get to learn from other artforms such as films and music, and know the more experimental, and outre projects which can revise and enrich our notions of what poetry can be.

Third Session: THE EXPOSURE (2 March 2024)
When is a poem done? This session looks at the hard but essential task of knowing when and how to end a poem, and as a collection, how to structure and sequence one’s manuscript.

Fourth Session: THE VULNERABILITY (9 March 2024)
How do you know if your poem is good enough to let it out? This is where rigorous editing, self-critique and a good hide (thick skin) will come in handy. This session will involve you to stand apart from your work, examine the pitfalls, kill your darlings. It will end in a poetry recital where participants will share their takeaways and their newly-minted poetry.

Programme Details:
Date: 17 & 24 February, 2 & 9 March 2024, Saturday
Time: 10.00 am - 1.00 pm
Venue: SBC Training Room, Goodman Arts Centre,
Blk E, #03-32 (Directions below at FAQ section)

About trainer:
Yeow Kai Chai is a poet, fiction writer, and editor. He has three poetry collections: Secret Manta (2001); Pretend I’m Not Here (2006); and One to the Dark Tower Comes (2020), which was awarded the 2022 Singapore Literature Prize. He has worked as editor-in-chief, entertainment editor and music reviewer for nearly three decades. He co-wrote Lilla Torg: A Scandinavian Journey (2023); Lost Bodies: Poems Between Portugal and Home (2016); and The Adopted: Stories from Angkor (2015), with three other authors. A co-editor of Quarterly Literary Review Singapore, he was Festival Director of Singapore Writers Festival from 2015 to 2018.

Admission Rule

-40% concession* rates for students and seniors
-20% off past participants of SBC Academy**
-20% off buddy tickets*
-10% off for Kinokuniya Privilege Card members**
* Discount is automatic (for concession, participants will have to present their student pass or senior citizen card on day of talk for verification purposes).
** Request promo code via email to

Refer to the link provided for more information on how to off set the course fee using your SkillsFuture Credits!

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