Drop the Dead Poet: Making Poetry From The News (Summer 2017)

Drop the Dead Poet: Making Poetry From The News (Summer 2017)

Perhaps now more than ever, our poetry should engage with news and global events.

Ezra Pound famously described literature as ‘news that stays news’. In today’s perpetual rolling news cycle, stories are passing constantly before our eyes and, as the weeks following Brexit and the 2016 US Election showed, a country can change overnight with news bulletins becoming as compulsive as any box set. How can poets make work that engages directly with such ‘interesting times’? How can we be seekers of knowledge and voices of protest without succumbing to grief for lost futures? On this course, we’ll be tackling the current news of the day, following real life events week by week as inspiration for writing new(s) poems. We’ll also look at the history of poetry’s engagement with topical political and social issues, from poetry ballads and broadsides to contemporary viral poems like those connected to the #blacklivesmatter movement. If you’ve ever longed to put Boris in a sonnet or make art out of unrest, this might be the course for you. (This is a repeat of a course that has run previously)

5 fortnightly sessions over 10 weeks. Live chats on Mondays, 7-9pm GMT, first live chat starting 22nd May.

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

About Sarah Hesketh Profile photo of Sarah Hesketh View Profile

Sarah Hesketh holds an MA in Creative Writing from UEA. Her first full collection of poetry, Napoleon’s Travelling Bookshelf (Penned in the Margins), was highly commended in the Forward Prize 2010. In 2013 she was poet-in-residence with Age Concern, working with elderly people with dementia, and in 2014 she published The Hard Word Box (Penned in the Margins), a collection of poems and interviews inspired by this experience. In 2015, she was commissioned by the Holocaust Memorial Day Trust to produce Grains of Light, a sequence of poems based around the story of Holocaust survivor Eve Kugler.

Without the Poetry School I would never have had the nerve publish my poetry.

- Summer 2016 survey response

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