Poetry Goes to the Movies: The Poem Noir


Use classic films noir as inspiration for your own poems highlighting themes, moods, and signature imagery from the genre.


What you can learn.

  • Watch classic films noir as inspiration for new work
  • Explore film noir’s moody themes and images in new poetic work
  • Complete in-class exercises to jumpstart your creativity
  • Enhance clarity, vividness of language, and overall impact through workshopping drafts
  • Participate in a special end-of-class public event

About this course:

Small wonder many poets feel an affinity for those low-budget black-and-white movies that emerged in the 1940s. Unlike the big studio romances and musicals of the day with their inevitable happy endings, the noir "B movies" seemed to expose the American dream's dark flipside. Through reading examples of "poems noir" and watching the classics Double Indemnity and Body Heat, you explore ways in which movies can inform and become the source for your poems. In-class exercises as well as your own independent writings use noir's snappy dialogue, themes, mood, and signature imagery as starting places for poetry. The goal is to take your first drafts of poems noir through the workshop process with attention to clarity, vividness of language, and impact on the reader; and emerge with polished work. Those who successfully complete the course will have an opportunity to present some portion of their writings at a public event celebrating Bunker Hill.

Contact Us

Speak to a program representative. Hours: Mon-Fri, 8am-5pm.

This course applies towards the following certificates & specializations…

Keep up to date on the latest news and offerings in Creative Writing

vector icon of building

Corporate Education

Learn how we can help your organization meet its professional development goals and corporate training needs.

Learn More

vector icon of building

Donate to UCLA Extension

Support our many efforts to reach communities in need.

Innovation Programs

Student Scholarships

Coding Boot Camp

Lifelong Learning