Address & the Strange Communication of Poetry (Spring 2023)

Address & the Strange Communication of Poetry (Spring 2023)

Who does a poem ‘speak’ to? Who (or what) is ‘speaking’?

The way a poem communicates is like no other communication. If we ask – in what time and place does a poet ‘speak’? Who does a poem ‘speak’ to? Who (or what) is ‘speaking’? – we find that there is no single or simple answer to those questions.  

Informed by poetic theory and close analysis, this course explores the bizarre communicative category that a poem is; you will work with poetry’s ambiguous communication, learn ways to exploit that ambiguity to develop your voice and connect with your readers, push your writing in new directions, and discover what your poems can do and be.  

Over 5 sessions you will break the fourth wall, experiment with different direct addresses, explore the I and You of your poems, and importantly, you’ll have fun and indulge your creativity in new ways. Each session features a poetry-writing exercise inspired by a selection of poems, you are also invited to write informal, guided notes where you process what you have explored, what ideas appeal to you and why.  

This course looks at poems by: CAConrad, Jillian Weise, Freya Daly Sadgrove, Franny Choi, Tomi Adegbayibi, Sandra Meek, Tracie Morris, Fatimah Asghar, Les Murray, Flo Reynolds, Sean Bonney, SJ Fowler, Mustafa Stitou, Trey Moody, and others. 

5 fortnightly sessions over 10 weeks, starting 17 January 2023. Live Chats on fortnightly Tuesdays, 7–9 pm (GMT); first Live Chat: 31 January. 

To apply for a concessionary rate, please send relevant documentation showing your eligibility for one of our concessions to [email protected] Conditions of eligibility are detailed here. If you have any questions or wish to be added to the waiting list of a sold-out course, please email [email protected]. For more information visit our Online Courses page. 

Image Credit: Ersi Marina Samara

About Cat Woodward View Profile

Cat Woodward runs The Poetry Master Class (@catsmasterclass). Her third collection, Strange Shape, is due in 2023 from Gatehouse. Her first collection, Sphinx, was published by Salò in 2017; her second, Blood. Flower. Joy!, was published by Knives, Forks and Spoons in 2019. In 2018 she won the Ivan Juritz Prize for creative experiment. You can read more about her work at 

‘My whole life I have been nervous to talk to others about poetry for fear of judgement, so it was a unique opportunity to speak to other people who are curious about poetry too. I came away buzzing with energy and feeling empowered.’

– Spring 2019 survey response

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