Expose and Disclose

A five-day immersive poetry-writing course


Monday 6 – Friday 10 February 2023


Ella Frears, Sheena Patel


Dartington Trust, South Devon


Unless otherwise stated, our Short Courses are for adults 18+ years


Residential: £795* | Non Residential: £595 | Deposit: £150**

Bursaries are available – find out more here.

*Residential course fees include all vegetarian meals, field trips, materials and all teaching sessions and includes private, simple accommodation with shared bathroom from supper on the day of your arrival through until the lunchtime before your departure. More info about accommodation can be found below.

**Place a deposit to secure either a residential or non-residential place, with the outstanding balance payable four weeks before the course start date.

About this course

Discover the joys of being fully immersed in your writing in this exciting five-day course. Tutors Ella Frears and Sheena Patel will enlighten you to the elements that make up poems, and inspire you to write and develop your own. 

Join two of the most exciting contemporary writers and performers for a deep dive into poetry and how to develop your ideas and write your own. Dartington Gardens’ poet-in-residence, Ella Frears, is joined by writer and director Sheena Patel, whose debut novel I’m A Fan earned her a spot on the Observer’s top ten debut novelists of 2022.

Through a series of low-pressure exercises, this course will encourage you to explore the self, drawing on real experiences while also feeling the joy of letting go of our ideas of ‘truth’ within a poem. You will be invited to use the authority of the body to centre the writing experience and get to the heart of your voice. Using contemporary art and the natural world as a starting point, we will explore voice and the process of writing radically that are textual, honest and truly get to the centre of your idea.

No previous experience needed.

Please bring:

  • Notebooks
  • Water bottle
  • Outdoor coat
  • Walking shoes/trainers


“Ella Frears without a doubt is a gifted teacher/facilitator. I have participated on many writing courses and truly hand on heart this one was the best ever. Ella was able to hold energy, creative AGENDAS, time management.”

“Instinctively Ella seemed to know when to rest, when to move, when to energise, when to lean, when to direct. A very special tutor.”

typical schedule for short courses

  • Check-in to the room is between 3-3.45pm on the day of arrival. Check-out is 11am on the day of departure, although if travelling by public transport, luggage can be left at the Welcome Centre until the course has completed.
  • Teaching generally begins at 4pm on the first day and ends at 2pm Fridays or 4pm Sunday (whichever is the last day of the course).
  • The daily timetable can start at 9.30am and end around 9.15pm, with free time available at set times throughout the day.
  • For residential participants breakfast is included, followed by a morning gathering and community work groups on weekdays, which are open to all participants and the college community. Non-residential participants can pay extra if they wish to have breakfast on one or more of the days.
  • Lunch for all participants is between 1-2pm and supper is 6.30-7.30pm (both meals are included in the residential and non-residential course fee).

If you have any questions about your course schedule please contact shortcourses@dartington.org


Our courses are part of the wider Learning programme at Dartington, and you will join a community of students on site studying at Schumacher College and Dartington Arts School as well as other short course participants, volunteers and visitors.

While you are here we invite you to take part in our learning community life by attending morning meetings, taking part in activities such as meal preparation and clearing, and evening social events. This is entirely voluntary, but participants tell us that taking part adds to their experience at Dartington.

short course community lunch


Ella Frears

ella frears

Ella Frears is Dartington Gardens’ first poet-in-residence as well as a trustee and editor for Magma poetry magazine. Her collection Shine, Darling (Offord Road Books, 2020) was shortlisted for the Forward Prize for Best First Collection, and the T. S. Eliot Prize for Poetry. Read More

Sheena Patel

Sheena patel

Sheena Patel is a writer and assistant director for the film and TV industry. She has previously published This Is What Love Is, a pamphlet with 4 BROWN GIRLS WHO WRITE (Rough Trade Books, 2020) and she was named as one of the Observer’s top ten debut novelists for I’m A Fan (Rough Trade Books, 2022). Read More


We recommend that if possible, you stay on-site during your course. All our courses are best experienced holistically: through studying, relaxing, eating and staying with other course participants, volunteers, staff and tutors.

The residential course fee is based on staying in one of our hostel-style single rooms with shared facilities and easy access to your main learning space. They are the perfect base to rest your head, relax and recharge. You can find out more about the rooms here.

Breakfast, lunch and dinner are included throughout the duration of the course, each made with fresh, locally-sourced produce by our award-winning team.

Accommodation is available at a discounted rate for course attendees, and on a first come, first served basis only. Choose this option by selecting ‘residential’ at checkout.

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optional: upgrade to a courtyard room

It is also possible, subject to availability, to upgrade your accommodation to a single or double en-suite bedroom in our beautiful and historic courtyard. An upgrade to a single room with en-suite bathroom is an additional £27.25 per night and a double room with en-suite bathroom is an additional £43.60 per night.

If you would like to upgrade, please first book with residential option included, and then contact our Guest Services team on 01803 847121 or email guestservices@dartingtonhall.com to check availability. Our Guest Services department is open daily, 8am–8pm.

Should you decide to upgrade to our en-suite accommodation, please be aware that this is 20 min walk, or 3 min drive, to the Old Postern site, where some of our courses are held. There is car parking available near to all venues on the estate.


You may like to stay on our beautiful and relaxing campsite, amidst the stunning rolling hills and ancient woodlands of Dartington. Find out more about the campsite here.

Should you decide to stay on the campsite, please be aware that this is 10 min walk, to either Schumacher College or Dartington Hall, where our courses are held. There is car parking available near to all venues on the estate.

Book now

Begin your online booking below. You will receive an e-ticket for this event. You are welcome to email us at shortcourses@dartington.org with any queries you have. Full Short Course T&Cs can be found here >

If you place a deposit, you will be contacted by us four weeks before the course start date to pay the outstanding balance. You will also be contacted with full details about the course before you arrive.

Please note that in most cases bookings for all our Short Courses close at midday on the Thursday before the course begins. This enables us to give you the best possible course experience and ensures all bookers receive the relevant course materials before they arrive.

Offer: Special rate for Dartington Members

Dartington Members will receive a 10% discount, applied when they log in during the checkout process. For more information about Membership, click here (opens in new tab).

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