Art Thieves Studio: Robbing Techniques from the Artist

Art Thieves Studio: Robbing Techniques from the Artist

Raid the artist’s studio and borrow compositional techniques to apply to the writing of poetry

The boundary between poetry and visual art is porous and well-traversed. Frank O’Hara and John Ashbery wrote astute art criticism. Peter Reading trained as an artist before he began writing poems. Anne Carson sees herself as much a visual artist as a verbal one: ‘Mostly I was interested in drawing,’ she says, ‘I never did think of myself as a writer.’ Many artists too have utilised poetry as a medium for their work, including Tracey Emin, Gilbert & George, Anselm Keifer, Yoko Ono, Jonas Mekas and Agnès Varda. On this Studio course we’ll cross the border and raid the artist’s studio, borrowing compositional techniques and then applying them to the writing of poetry. The focus is to connect with language as an art material that can be honed, shaped and sculpted. Through a series of focused writing and re-writing exercises we’ll sketch from observation (and erase), explore mid-tones and high contrast, play with colour, pattern and scale, look at how word choice and syntax create different shades of light and dark, and consider the role of perspective and the viewer’s standpoint. We’ll read a selection of relevant poets, too, framing their work through formal devices.

Poetry Studios are three week intensive courses. Reading material will be distributed before the course begins. There are no live chats so they are suitable for both UK & International students. 

For more information visit our Online Courses page.

About Alice Lyons View Profile

Alice Lyons‘ latest book of poems is The Breadbasket of Europe (Veer Books, London, 2016). She was a Radcliffe Fellow in Poetry & New Media at Harvard University in 2015/16. Her poems have appeared in publications such as Tygodnik Powszechny (Kraków) and Poetry (Chicago), as works of public art, and as poetry films in cinema and gallery screenings worldwide. Recipient of the Patrick Kavanagh Award and the inaugural Ireland Chair of Poetry Bursary, she lives and works between the US and Ireland.

‘This is my fourth (or fifth) course and I have grown in confidence and ability. The tutors are sensitive to people’s needs and help to generate a good working atmosphere which allows better collaboration and support. I now have had some success in publishing and am working to improve further with joining in more courses in the future.’

Spring 2017 Online Survey response

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