Bardics: A Poetics of Shamanism

Bardics: A Poetics of Shamanism

Explore Shamanic poetic practices to learn how to bring the Bardic into your writing.

Despite having origins in medieval Wales, ‘Bardic’ is not a term used in the Welsh language; like ‘Shamanic’, it is a word that, to some extent, represents a projection of otherness from mainstream culture. And yet, traces of the more profound elements of Bardic traditions persist in English and North American poetries, enriching these writings and bringing a transcendent depth that broadens English language literature.  

Examining the work of Anne Waldman, Maria Sabina, Jerome Rothenberg, Taliesin, and others, this course will encourage students to pay homage to these traditions and explore their techniques, including those derived from oral tradition, ritualised poetries, repetition and parallelism, chanting, nature-worship, and ancestral, cosmogenic, occult writing. 

Following the critical work of Shamsad Mortuza, we will explore the figure of the Shaman in contemporary poetry as inspiration for writing new poems of our own. Along the way we’ll touch on elements codified in the ‘ethnopoetics’ of Jerome Rothenberg, and drawing on details of actual religious practices, such as rituals of Tengrism, Shamanism (Tungus), animism, and Mazatec cultures that have a crossover with bardic practices filtered down from Welsh, Scottish, Irish, and North American sources. 

5 fortnightly sessions over 10 weeks, starting  12 January 2022. Live chats on Wednesdays, 7–9 pm GMT; first live chat 26 January.

To apply for a concession 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] More information about how all our online courses work can be found on the Online Courses page.

Image credit: Anastasiia Balandina

About Rhys Trimble View Profile

Rhys Trimble is a bilingual poet, performer, performance artist, text artist, visual artist, musician, editor, critic, and shaman. Interested in avant-garde poetry, art, and music, and its parallels in Welsh/ancient artforms – also poetry and visual image as ritual and processual cut-up techniques. He is the author of twelve or more books of poetry and Vispo, and vocalist in the noise punk band Lolfa Binc. 

Rhys is an outstanding tutor. Always enthusiastic, encouraging and clear, he really brought the best out of the group, noted our particular strengths and helped us to produce distinctive poems in our own ways. His comments were well-focused, succinct and perceptive. His approach was very affable and he created a strong sense of group identity and cohesion from the start, making for a stimulating learning environment.

Autumn 2020 Survey

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