New to the Poetry Pharmacy, book here for online courses and workshops.  As always we aim to host the country’s best poets and workshop leaders, with a strong emphasis on good mental health and wellbeing, and hope our new online offering will be accessible to those who can’t make it to the Poetry Pharmacy itself.  We are working on putting together an exciting program of innovative course leaders and content!


Subsidised places on our online courses and workshops are available – please email for details.

THE POETRY HABIT WITH SOPHIE HOWARTH - 3 November to 1 December 2023

The Poetry Habit is an online course held on zoom over five weekly sessions, led by artist and writer Sophie Howarth, and organised by the Poetry Pharmacy. 

“Poetry is a life-cherishing force. For poems are not words, after all, but fires for the cold, ropes let down to the lost, something as necessary as bread in the pockets of the hungry.” – Mary Oliver


How can we make more space for poetry among all the pressing demands of daily life? Why would we want to? And if we did, what creative magic might happen?

The Poetry Habit introduces you to the transformative effects of a daily poetry prescription. We explore innovative ways to read, write, learn and share poetry, placing particular emphasis on cultivating everyday habits that inspire joy, deepen meaning and build creativity.

This course will reward anyone who wants to bring more wonder and connection into their daily life. It is designed to reward both those who are completely new to poetry and to bring fresh inspiration to more experienced poetry readers and writers. All that matters is to come with an open heart and mind.

The course is led by artist and writer Sophie Howarth and hosted by The Poetry Pharmacy.


"Brilliantly structured, thought provoking, mind expanding and playful"

"Emboldening and inspiring, an invitation to playfulness and wonder"

"A rich and varied feast of poetic nourishment"

"Enough food for the soul to last me years"

"It made my heart so full, inspired me, lifted me, held me and encouraged me"

"A glorious introduction to poetry without pretension"

"Safe, comforting, welcoming and encouraging. It's the best course I've ever done"


Week 1: Poetry Is Not A Luxury (Friday 3 November)

The first session will explore ideas about why poetry matters and how it can help us navigate uncertain times. We’ll learn how to adopt a beginner’s mindset, discover new voices, broaden our tastes, and experiment with different ways of reading a poem.

Week 2: Tattoos on the Heart (Friday 10 November)

This week we'll focus on listening to poetry and on learning poems by heart. We'll dip into the slam scene, exploring different styles of performance poetry and consider ways of borrowing creative inspiration from others.

Week 3: Everyday Matters (Friday 17 November)

Our third session will be about finding magic in the mundane and fortifying ourselves with small moments of beauty: noticing the sunlight as it falls across a wooden floor or the sound of water as it's poured into a teapot, appreciating the small kindnesses in a waiting room or tiny epiphanies that can happen in the supermarket.

Week 4: Finding The Words (Friday 24 November)

The fourth session will focus on developing habits and practices for doing something creative every day. We’ll explore the challenges of working in imperfect conditions, defying inner critics, seeing and growing what’s good, and persevering with creative habits even when we feel like giving up.

Week 5: Sharing the Joy (Friday 1 December)

The final session is a collective celebration. We’ll share the fruits of our new habits, and marvel at just how many different ways our group have found to bring more poetry into both our own and others’ daily lives.


The course was devised and is taught by artist and writer Sophie Howarth. Sophie was the co-founder of The School of Life and former Curator of Public Programmes at Tate Modern. She is the author of several books, most recently The Mindful Photographer. All her work is about deepening connection to ourselves, one another and the wider web of life.

"Sophie brings a winning combination of enthusiasm, deep knowledge and reassurance."

"Your skill as a facilitator was such a delight."

"Depth of knowledge matched by an exceptional ability to hold space."

"I felt so safely held and expertly guided by Sophie."


The course runs on zoom over five Friday mornings (10.30-12.30) from 3 November to 1 December 2023.

Before each session you will be emailed with instructions for accessing the meeting.

Please note that is a highly participatory course and you will be asked to take a supportive interest in other people’s creative development.

Tickets are valid for the full course even if you cannot attend all dates. No partial course ticket is available.


Discounted places are available to individuals facing financial barriers to participation. To apply for a bursary, please email

The course costs £125 for all five sessions.  

Please note: you must sign up for the full course even if you cannot attend all dates, no partial course ticket is available.  This course is for those over 18 years old.

The Poetry Habit course is collaborative, and we would love it if you played an active role in group tasks and sharing sessions!  If you have any additional needs, please contact us in advance of the course starting and we will try to assist you.