Discuss, dissect and explore various ways into counter and companion poems with Inua Ellams.

Whenever a poem I feel contains inarguable precision and clarity finds me, when it reflects my aesthetics or poetics, I begin to speculate on what would need to change to make the poem more me. If it were set within my Muslim-Christian-Nigerian-English-Irish-Immigrant-Golden-age-of-hip-hop—hood, what would differ? What would stay the same? This impulse drove my book of response-poems, #Afterhours. (published Nine Arches). The tradition is old as poetry; one could argue that all poems are response-poems. Raleigh wrote to Marlowe’s ‘The Passionate Shepherd to His Love’, Bishop to Hemans’ ‘Casabianca’, the list is inextinguishable. Over this course, we will discuss, dissect and explore various ways into writing counter or companion poems. Participants should come with a clear sense of their preoccupations in poetry, and be ready to play, experiment and write.

5 fortnightly sessions on Thursdays, 6:45pm – 8:45pm, starting 18th May.

More information about how all our face-to-face courses work can be found on the Face-to-Face courses page.


About Inua Ellams Profile photo of Inua Ellams View Profile

Born in Nigeria in 1984, Inua Ellams is an internationally touring poet, playwright, performer, graphic artist & designer. He has published three pamphlets of poetry: Candy Coated Unicorns and Converse All Stars, Thirteen Fairy Negro Tales and The Wire-Headed Heathen. His first play The 14th Tale (a one-man show which he performed) was awarded a Fringe First at the Edinburgh International Theatre Festival and his third, Black T-Shirt Collection ran at England’s National Theatre. He is currently touring An Evening With An Immigrant, working on Barber Shop Chronicles – a new play, and a poetry book called #Afterhours. In graphic art & design, online and in print, he tries to mix the old with the new, juxtaposing texture and pigment with flat shades of colour and vector images. He lives and works from London, where he founded the Midnight Run, a nocturnal urban excursion.

My work is continually improving as a result of the Poetry School and my knowledge and yearning for a still deeper understanding of the art and craft of poetry continues to grow. Thank you so much.

– Summer 2016 survey response.

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