Bodies and Botanies in Contemporary Experimental Poetry

Bodies and Botanies in Contemporary Experimental Poetry

Write the poem botanical, from queer florality to trees bearing witness

In this workshop we will explore the surprising intersections of bodies and botanies in contemporary experimental poetry. We will untangle some of the rich histories of language as material, margins as both perplexing and fruitful, and the scope for transformation that this writing enables. In doing so, we will engage with questions of difficulty, resistance, labour, joy and provisionality through an embodied and emplacement poetics.

This course will offer an introduction to experimental poets both ‘canonical’ and marginal. Moving along a scale of micro- to macro-botanical tropes, we will consider the use of pollen as grammar and text of motherhood in Mei-mei Berssenbrugge, queer erotic florality in Elisabeth Bletsoe, weedy disruption and leafy books in Susan Howe, and perhaps a deer park or two in Redell Olsen. Alongside, we will consider botanical evocations in Modernist and post-modern prose and film – trees bearing witness to violence, forests and experiments of innocence, and impressionist gardens – to explore the cross-fertilisation of matter, medium and material.

This course is a half-day workshop running 2pm – 4.30pm on Saturday 13 April and is part of our Tutor Academy week.

About Srishti Krishnamoorthy-Cavell View Profile

Srishti Krishnamoorthy-Cavell is completing a PhD in contemporary experimental poetics at Cambridge. She is part of the Ledbury Emerging Critics programme, and her critical work has been published (or is forthcoming) in Poetry London, Poetry School, Jacket and the Poetry Society. She is also a competitive British Parliamentary debater for Cambridge and has twice reached the semi-finals of the European Universities Debating Championship, currently ranked as the fifth best speaker on the continent.

‘It has become central to my life and essential for my progress.’

– Summer 2018 survey response

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