A Quest for Innocence in a Troubled World

A Quest for Innocence in a Troubled World

Honing hope; awakening a poetics of wonder in a worrisome world.

This workshop brings to the poetic table three things: the inspiration to go on a quest; rediscovering a sense of innocence in language; and the overwhelming realities of today’s troubled world. So, what does the poet have to say to the child, the adolescent, the newlyweds, the new parents, the people who just bought their first house and had their first baby? We will talk about the ways in which time and experience strip the freshness and innocence from language and how the work of poets and storytellers reimagine language as a place of new beginnings. How do we re-discover language? Is childhood an innocent place? Is linguistic innocence desirable for a poet in the context of so much societal conflict? We will take inspiration from several poems including Tagore’s ‘On the Seashore’, Milosz’s ‘The World’, Greenlaw’s ‘The Innocence of Radium’, and Pope’s ‘Ode to Solitude’. 

1 full-day session, running 10.30am – 4.30pm (BST), on 13 July 2024. This course will take place at Somerset House, Strand, London, WC2R 1LA. 

To apply for a concession rate, please send relevant documentation showing your eligibility for one of our concessions to [email protected]. Conditions of eligibility are detailed here. More information about how our In-Person Courses work can be found on the In-Person Courses page. If you have any questions or wish to be added to the waiting list of a sold-out course, please email [email protected]. 

Image credit:@jens_lindner

About Carmen Bugan View Profile

Carmen Bugan is the author of nine books including poetry, memoir, and criticism.  Her most recent collection of poems is Time Being (Shearsman, 2022), and her most recent collection of essays is Poetry and the Language of Oppression: Essays on Politics and Poetics (OUP, 2021). Her new and selected poems, Lilies from America (Shearsman, 2019), was a PBS Special Commendation. Her memoir, Burying the Typewriter (Picador, 2012), won the Breadloaf Nonfiction Prize, was shortlisted for the Dayton Literary Peace Prize and the Orwell Prize for Political Writing, and was BBC Radio 4 Book of the Week. Bugan is an Assistant Professor of Literature and Creative Writing at New York University in Abu Dhabi. 

"The way in which each field of knowledge was woven into reading and composing poetry has inspired me to take my own poems to another level, incorporating a wide range of subjects into my work."

- Autumn 2023 Survey Response

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