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Jack McGowan: English and Comparative Literary Studies

jackmcgowanJack has taught creative writing for five years in a number of different forms including facilitating writing sessions for community groups, providing writing classes for primary and secondary schools, and hosting performance poetry workshops. He currently convenes The Practice of Poetry: an honours-level poetry module for the Warwick Writing Programme. His approach to teaching in Higher Education aims to ensure that his students have confidence in their writing beyond academic assessment and he actively encourages students to consider how their poetry might be placed outside the classroom. To this end he often holds his classes outside of the classroom, exploring how environment affects learning outcomes, and how poetry can reorganize social spaces. He provides support for students who are submitting work to poetry competitions and page-based or online magazines, and has helped to establish a robust spoken word scene on campus and in the local area.

Jack’s pedagogical practice places the student’s relationship with their writing at the centre of any lesson. The Practice of Poetry establishes a relaxed space for multi-directional exchange, where contribution from all participants ensures an organic, engaging, and enjoyable learning experience. The importance of fostering this kind of space is exemplified in feedback which speaks to the module’s capacity to improve the way students engage with their poetry and their role as poets: 'I wanted to say that I had a great time on your module! Notwithstanding that I enjoyed the classes, I was really pleased with the collection I came out with - and I am extremely grateful, especially because of all your detailed feedback!'

students say...

Jack's seminar workshops are a safe space; he asks students to explain their critiques of others' work thoroughly and is encouraging in his suggestions for improvements. Throughout the module, he has allowed students to write about topics personal to them and delivered personalised feedback to each one. He has also given students the option of reading work aloud, sending it to the group mass email or sending it to his email only, so that students could get the kind of feedback they felt would be most beneficial for certain pieces."

Jack has inspired me to explore a huge range of styles, forms and subjects when writing poetry that I never would have tried without him."