Address & the Strange Communication of Poetry

Address & the Strange Communication of Poetry

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. 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. 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. This course looks at poems by: C A Conrad, Jillian Weise, Freya Daly Sadgrove, Franny Choi, Tomi Adegbayibi, Sandra Meek, Tracie Morris’, Fatima Asghar, Les Murry, Flo Reynolds, Sean Bonney, S J Fowler, Mustafa Stitou, Trey Moody and others.’

5 fortnightly sessions over 10 weeks. Live chats on Mondays, 7-9pm GMT, first live chat starting 14 October 2019.

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

A 10% discount is available to residents local to the Poetry School (anyone currently living in Rotherhithe, Riverside, Surrey Docks, South Bermondsey, Grange or Livesey).
Please contact for further information.
Image Credit: Ersi Marina Samara

About Cat Woodward View Profile

Cat Woodward is a feminist lyric poet. Her first collection, Sphinx, was published by Salò press in 2017; her second collection Blood. Flower. Joy! is due from Knives, Forks and Spoons press in 2019. In 2018 Cat won the Ivan Juritz Prize, a cross-arts prize for creative experiment. Her most recent work, provisionally titled ‘Imitations’ is supported by the Society of Authors through an Authors’ Foundation Grant. Cat studied at The University of East Anglia where she wrote her doctoral thesis on robot and lyric voice. Learn more about Cat and her work at Follow Cat at @cwoodwardpoetry.

‘I resolved to do something that terrified me in 2019, take poetry out of the privacy of my room and talk to others about it. I was really apprehensive about attending the workshop, but I found the teacher really understanding, the session broke down some of my trepidation. 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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