Bending Form: An Exploration of Possibilities

Bending Form: An Exploration of Possibilities

Take a playful approach to the possibilities of form and learn to free your writing processes.

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 the elastic potential of form 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.

5 fortnightly sessions over 10 weeks. Live chats on Thursdays, 7-9pm GMT, first live chat starting 1st June.

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

About Shazea Quraishi Profile photo of Shazea Quraishi View Profile

Shazea Quraishi was born in Pakistan, grew up in Canada and lived in Spain before settling in London where she works as a writer, translator and creative writing facilitator.

Her poetry has been published widely in the UK and US in publications including Ten (Bloodaxe Books, 2010), The Delight-Tree: an anthology of Contemporary International Poetry (The United Nations SRC Society of Writers, 2015), The Financial Times, Poetry Review, PN Review, Modern Poetry in Translation and Sentence: a journal of prose poetics. ‘The Courtesans Reply’ was published in 2012 by flipped eye publishing, and her new collection, The Art of Scratching was published in May 2015 with Bloodaxe Books.

As a graduate of the pilot Translators in School programme, she runs translation workshops in primary schools, and offers bespoke workshops in Creative Writing and Reading.

As a creative writing facilitator, she works in museums, schools, prisons, refugee centres and festivals with organisations including English Pen, The Poetry School and Translators in Schools.

She also works as an artist with Living Words.

I've really enjoyed my online course and I hope to become a regular part of the Poetry School Community. The course prompted me to look critically at my own work and most importantly, got me reading and writing poetry again. Fantastic experience!

– Online survey, Spring 2016

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