‘cicadas exist; chicory, chromium, citrus trees’: an Environmental Transreading Masterclass

‘cicadas exist; chicory, chromium, citrus trees’: an Environmental Transreading Masterclass

Enquiries into the ecological – researching poetic responses to academic studies on the environment.

This Transreading Masterclass (with the title borrowed from Susanna Nied’s translation of Inger Christensen’s Alfabet, the long ecological poem based on the Fibonacci sequence) invites us to consider the environment, climate crisis, and the more-than-human/human interdependence by composing multimodal texts in response to recent international research. 

We will rely on curiosity and willingness to experiment creatively with the environmental knowledge gained thanks to assigned readings, independent study, peer exchanges, and field trips. We will rethink such concepts as ‘nature,’ ‘sustainability’, and ‘care’ by reading, listening to, and watching a variety of academic, literary, and artistic texts. 

We will combine science, emotion, and creative expression, not only to describe environmental loss, grief, and vulnerability, but also to celebrate the Earth and biodiversity. We will explore the complexity of ecological processes and interactions by working on our own projects (started from scratch or developing from our earlier ideas): to investigate in more detail the environmental subject that fascinates us and to experiment with diverse forms of communicating it. Our research-based, hybrid, multimodal works-in-progress (which may develop beyond the Masterclass) will become forms of our green thinking, slow art, activism, and stewardship. 

Masterclasses are an expanded version of our International Courses, with a much deeper consideration of technical craft and critical theory. These 12-week courses (maximum 10 places) are for advanced students only, and fluency with poetic language and ideas will be assumed. There are no live chats and they are suitable for UK and International students.  

To apply for a concessionary rate, please send relevant documentation showing your eligibility for one of our concessions to administ[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: @kamalazizi

About Elżbieta Wójcik-Leese View Profile

Elżbieta Wójcik-Leese co-curates ‘Transreading’ courses on translocal and hybrid poetries for the Poetry School. She writes with/in English, Polish, and Danish. Her multilingual texts have appeared, among others, in Wretched Strangers: Borders, Movement, Homes (2018), Other Countries: Contemporary Poets Rewiring History (2014), Metropoetica, Poetry and Urban Space: Women Writing Cities (2013), and in such journals as Cordite Poetry Review, Envoi, Island Review, Long Poem Magazine, Modern Poetry in Translation, Poetry Salzburg Review, Projectionist’s Playground, Shearsman and Tears in the Fence. Her English translations of contemporary Polish poetry have featured in various anthologies, journals and on the London Underground; they can be read at https://www.versopolis-poetry.com. 

Her selection from Marcin Świetlicki, Night Truck Driver (Zephyr Press, 2020), finalist for the Big Other Book Award for Translation, was longlisted for the 2021 PEN Award for Poetry in Translation. Nothing More (Arc, 2013), which samples Krystyna Miłobędzka, was shortlisted for the 2015 Popescu European Poetry Translation Prize. Marzanna Kielar’s poetry is sampled in Salt Monody (Zephyr Press, 2006). She co-edited Carnivorous Boy Carnivorous Bird: Poetry from Poland (Zephyr Press, 2004) and guest-edited Polish issues of Poetry Wales and Modern Poetry in Translation. She was a co-editor of the peer-reviewed literary translation journal Przekładaniec and a contributing editor at Poetry Wales. Cognitive Poetic Readings in Elizabeth Bishop: Portrait of a Mind Thinking (2010) is based on her research as a Fulbright scholar at the Elizabeth Bishop archives. She has collaborated with the British Council, European Literature Network, Literature Across Frontiers, Polish Cultural Institute, and Scottish Poetry Library. She works at the Centre for Internationalisation and Parallel Language Use, University of Copenhagen. Her micro-blog about geographic and imaginary Norths, poetry, art, translation and translanguaging can be read at https://www.facebook.com/elzbieta.wojcikleese. She documents the Northern liminal in photos, cyanotype, ink, stitch, artists’ books and words on Instagram: @elzbietawojcikleese. 

The courses made me think about what poetry is, they've rekindled my interest in my practice and have been truly joyful experiences.

- – Summer 2023 survey response

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