Cut-ups & Constraints: Applied Poetry (International)

Cut-ups & Constraints: Applied Poetry (International)

Manipulate new meanings with cutting, folding, and chance encounters

This course delves into constraint-based and cut-up based poetry, focusing on innovative or avant-garde poetics, inspired by the American poet Bernadette Mayer and the L=A=N=G=U=A=G=E movement that prolifically produced conceptual poetry and happenings in the 1970s and 1980s, some of the most significant work of its kind to ever be published. From Mayer’s list of poetic experiments published in the iconic L=A=N=G=U=A=G=E magazine in 1973 we shall evince how all writing consists of first generating material in any way possible, followed by a process of realisation in which work is fine-tuned. This approach is versatile and applicable to any style of writing and genre, lyric, prose poetry, open-field poetry, blank verse and even metre-based poetry. We will undertake exercises in cut-up technique, based on the Dadaists, William Burroughs and Brian Gysin; exercise in constraint, based on Oulipo, Mayer, Jackson Mac Low and C. A. Conrad; and online poetry techniques which will demonstrate methods of composition based on online tools such as Markov chain generators to create poems and produce text for further composition and experimentation.

5 fortnightly sessions over 10 weeks. No live chats. Suitable for UK & International students.

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

Image credit: Duc Ly

About Rhys Trimble View Profile

Rhys Trimble is a bilingual poet, performer, performance artist, text artist, visual artist, musician, editor, critic and shaman. Interested in avant-garde poetry, art and music and its parallels in Welsh/ancient artforms, also poetry and visual image as ritual and processual cut-up techniques. The author of twelve or more books of poetry and Vispo. Vocalist in the noise punk band Lolfa Binc.

‘Poetry School is invaluable. I have M.E. which means traditional writer’s groups are inaccessible for me. Being able to be part of a community online, being able to learn from such excellent tutors and having the opportunity to learn alongside others is wonderful. It’s given me back some confidence both in writing, and on a wider scale.’

– Autumn 2018 survey response

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