Art & Advocacy: Poetry as Testimony & Social Change

Art & Advocacy: Poetry as Testimony & Social Change

Learn how to fuse art and advocacy to create lasting testimonies and use your poetry as a powerful tool for collective action.

Step into the realm of poetic expression and discover the profound impact that poetry can have as an agent for testimony and change. In this transformative course, we will explore how poetry can be a powerful tool to bear witness to human experiences, challenge social norms, and inspire collective action. 

Unleashing the potential of your poetic voice, you’ll embark on a poetic journey where your words will become a testament to personal stories, social issues, and the human condition. Through a combination of creative writing exercises, critical analysis of renowned poets, and engaging discussions, you’ll cultivate the skills and understanding necessary to craft compelling, authentic, and impactful poems. 

In part 1, guided by experienced tutor Abbi Parcell, you’ll learn how to navigate the intricate dance between artistry and activism. Together, we’ll explore themes such as identity, inequality, justice, resilience, and hope, using poetry as a vehicle for self-expression, empathy, and societal transformation. We’ll read widely from established poets, exploring work by Joelle Taylor, Jackie Kay, Kazim Ali, Andrew McMillan, Audre Lorde, Langston Hughes, Adam Lowe, Adrienne Rich, June Jordan, and Eileen Myles, amongst others. 

In part 2, you’ll have the opportunity to engage in collaborative workshopping, where you’ll share your new work, provide constructive feedback, and foster a vibrant community of like-minded individuals. By embracing diverse perspectives and learning from one another’s experiences, you’ll refine your poetic craft and amplify the power of your words. 

Whether you’re a seasoned poet seeking to harness your voice for change, or a newcomer to the world of poetry, this course welcomes all who are passionate about using language to make a difference. Join us on this poetic odyssey, where the fusion of art and advocacy will empower us to create lasting testimonies and forge a brighter future. 

2 Half-day Zoom sessions, running 10.30am–1pm (GMT), on 25 November & 2 December 2023. To apply for a concession rate, please send relevant documentation showing your eligibility for one of our concessions to administ[email protected]. Conditions of eligibility are detailed here. More information about how our Video Courses work can be found on the Video 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: Alex Radelich 

About Abbi Parcell View Profile

Hailing from South Wales, Abbi Parcell embraces her unique identity as a Butch, neurodivergent, writer, poet, and academic. As the Writer in Residence of the prestigious Portico Library in Manchester, she is working on a project queering the library’s collection. Through an affiliation with the Neurodivergent Poets Network at the Manchester Poetry Library, Ab also works to foster a supportive community for neurodivergent creatives. In 2023, Ab released her highly-anticipated debut pamphlet, Hold Your Metaphors Accountable, exploring trauma and identity & presenting not only a work of personal expression but also a catalyst for change.  

In addition to her creative endeavours, Ab Parcell is an academic who is currently studying a PhD in Creative Writing at the University of Salford. 

‘I have attended several courses at The Poetry School and all have been of a very high standard. The tutors have been well prepared and provided a wide range of material to generate discussion and ideas for writing poetry. Fellow students have been supportive and offered constructive criticism. I would recommend the Poetry School to any aspiring poet, whatever their level of expertise.’

– Spring 2023 survey response

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