Bending Form: an Exploration of Possibilities (Spring 2018)

Bending Form: an Exploration of Possibilities (Spring 2018)

Explore the possibilities of form as a way of freeing of the writing process

Wendell Berry, the poet and environmental activist, said of poetry and marriage: ‘It may be, then, that form serves us best when it works as an obstruction to baffle us and deflect our intended course… The impeded stream is the one that sings.’ In this new online course, we will take a playful approach as we explore the possibilities of form as a way of freeing of the writing process. Taking inspiration from poets including Anne Carson, Terrance Hayes and Vahni Capildeo, you will be encouraged to use form adventurously, exploring its elastic potential and working with it in explosive new ways, from the familiar to the unrecognisable. We will also experiment with inventing our own forms, looking at some lesser-known and experimental forms from contemporary writers, as we enquire into how our writing is affected when writing a poem to fit a particular form or finding the form to fit a poem; many students will find by the end of the course that attempts to solve specific technical problems they have created for themselves is one of the most useful ways to stimulate new creative ideas. For writers who are willing to be baffled, and curious about the new directions a poem can take them – this is the course for you. (This is a repeat of a course that has run previously)

5 fortnightly sessions over 10 weeks. Live chats on Tuesdays, 7-9pm GMT, first live chat starting 13 February.

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

(Image: ‘Sophie’)

About Shazea Quraishi View Profile

Shazea Quraishi is a Pakistani-born Canadian poet, playwright and translator whose poems have appeared in UK and US publications including The Financial Times, The Guardian, Modern Poetry in Translation and Poetry Review.  Her collection The Art of Scratching was published by Bloodaxe Books in 2015, and she is adapting her chapbook The Courtesans Reply as a play. In 2015, she was the recipient of a Brooklease Grant from the Royal Society of Literature, and an Artists International Development Fund award. She teaches with English PEN, Translators in Schools and The Poetry School, and is an artist in residence with Living Words.


Poetry School has been absolutely brilliant for me - the range and depth of courses is excellent - very tempting to commit to too many, but, unfortunately, as soon as I moved out of London I started writing poetry - an unfortunate conjunction for me personally but I have enjoyed every course I have managed to attend and the online courses are a great resource which I shall continue to pursue.I have felt part of a community and have made great poetry buddies.

Summer 2017 Online Course Survey Response

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