Carnival & the Masks of Bacchanal Studio+

Carnival & the Masks of Bacchanal Studio+

Displace poetic hierarchies and revel in hedonistic Carnival-style freedom in your poetry.

‘The point of Carnival is loss of self.’ – Roger Turton 

Bacchanal is a Caribbean word for confusion, scandal, or wild revelry. It is also the corybantic freedom experienced during the pre-Lenten days of Carnival, only to be reined in on Ash Wednesday. For these few days, social hierarchies are willingly displaced. In this course, we revellers will displace our own poetic hierarchies. We’ll inhabit our Masks of Bacchanal with a touch of hedonism.  

Some years ago, when considering this course for a face-to-face classroom, the bespoke masks would have covered our eyes. Now, after almost 2 years of covering the other half of our faces, we’ll ask which new aspects of our writing souls can these masks expose? Using Carnival props, music, and performance, we will transform into Midnight Robbers, bash out words from each other with Shakespeare Mas sticks, and straddle the frenzy of bacchanal with the quiet of Paschalian contemplation. The writers we will examine will include Agbabi, Capildeo, Murray, Rhys, and Tyutchev.

We’ll experiment with becoming and writing with other voices, then connect with each other to speak and create with these new voices. Perhaps even, we may learn how to play our true selves. 


Studio+ Courses are a new initiative from the Poetry School and feature a portfolio of preliminary reading, alongside 3-4 writing assignments, and some additional bonus features such as Zoom sessions, collaborative projects, and inter-disciplinary work. There are no Live Chats on this course.  

To apply for a concessionary 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] For more information visit our Online Courses page.

Image credit: Federico Scarionati 

About Fawzia Kane View Profile

Fawzia Muradali Kane is an architect and poet. Born in San Fernando, Trinidad and Tobago, she came to the UK on a scholarship to study architecture. She practiced as an architect in Trinidad for some years, and now lives in London. She is now a director of KMK Architects, and is training towards accreditation as an RIBA Conservation Architect. Her debut poetry collection Tantie Diablesse (Waterloo Press 2011) was a finalist in the poetry section for the Bocas Lit Fest prize. In 2014, Thamesis Publications produced her long sequence Houses of the Dead as an illustrated pamphlet. She is now preparing her second collection of poetry. 

‘The Poetry School course gave me something to focus on and the motivation to connect with my passions at a low point in my life. It reminded me that there is always more to learn, and re-engaged my interest in poetry by introducing me to a community of poets online.’

— Autumn 2020 survey

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