A Dweller on the Plains: The Poetry of Walking

A Dweller on the Plains: The Poetry of Walking

Don your hiking boots and discover new poetry pathways

Walking and poetry are such excellent companions. Both ask for feet, beat, motion, observation and contemplation. Walking has been crucial to the practice of countless writers, from Baudelaire to Blake and Woolf to Whitman; and centuries before the Romantic notion of walking in nature took hold, Aristotle taught whilst strolling around the Lyceum. Recent research confirms what these writers and thinkers knew instinctively: that walking enhances creativity. On this course, we will be exploring the history, philosophy and art of walking and walkers. We’ll be reading and writing poems about walking and taking inspiration from the accounts of adventurers past and present, as well as fictional walkers from early literature onwards. We will encounter countryside ramblers, hardcore hikers and flâneurs. There will be practical options alongside meanders of the mind. We’ll sing of the clarity that walking brings but also probe its discomforts and walking for something other than pleasure. We will stride and dawdle and enjoy the view, taking in work by Helen Mort, Alice Oswald, Matsuo Bashō, Chaucer, Dorothy and William Wordsworth, Ruth Wiggins, Kei Miller, Robert McFarlane, Rebecca Solnit, Emily Hasler and many more. Lace up your boots and walk with me!

5 fortnightly sessions over 10 weeks. Live chats 7-9pm GMT on Wednesdays, first live chat starting 30 Jan.

More information about how all our online courses work can be found on the Online Courses page.

(Image credit: Pictoscribe)

About Rachel Piercey View Profile

Rachel Piercey is a poet, editor, tutor and enthusiastic walker. She is walking the North Downs Way this year, having completed the glorious South Downs Way in 2017. Rachel’s poems have been published in The Rialto, Magma, The Interpreter’s House, Poetry News andThe Poetry Review and she has two pamphlets with the Emma Press. She has previously run courses for The Poetry School on writing for children and happy poems. www.rachelpierceypoet.com

‘It’s the most meaningful part of my week. My tutor has been incredibly helpful and supportive and the group is full of poets of an extremely high standard who are also warm supportive and interesting people.’

– Summer 2018 survey respons

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