Eww, Gross: Harnessing & Understanding the Power of Disgust Masterclass

Eww, Gross: Harnessing & Understanding the Power of Disgust Masterclass

Harness the power of gross and learn to dig beneath the stomach-churning to create unforgettable poems of human experience.

I hope you aren’t squeamish, but if you are then perhaps this is the course for you! Being disgusted or horrified by the organic or biological, particularly in the area of bodily secretion and food spoilage, is common and often exists with good reason. These processes can alert us to the presence of disease and even danger. But these functions are fascinating too, and there is much to be gained in learning what disgusts us and why. What do these judgements tell us about ourselves and the world we live in now? What happens if we challenge these preconceptions and examine the history of disgust in poetry, but also in the context of our personal histories.  

Join us as we explore how poets through the centuries have harnessed the power of gross to create unforgettable poems that speak to the true nature of human physical experience, and how embracing all things stomach-churning can be transformational for your writing. From Jonathan Swift to Liam Rector, Lucille Clifton to Bernadette Meyer, we’ll explore poetry about all manner of nauseating bodily functions, studying how these speak to our collective anxiety and dread of acknowledging our mortality, to discover that maybe they are not so repulsive after all!

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 [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: Alexander Schimmeck

About Victoria Kennefick View Profile

Victoria Kennefick‘s first collection Eat or We Both Starve (Carcanet, 2021) was shortlisted for the Costa 2021 Poetry Award and the T. S. Eliot Prize 2021. It was a book of the year in The Guardian, The Telegraph, The Irish Times, The Sunday Independent and The White Review. Her poems have appeared in Poetry, The Poetry Review, Poetry Ireland, PN Review, The Stinging Fly, Ambit, Prelude, Copper Nickel, and elsewhere. A recipient of a Next Generation Artist Award from the Arts Council of Ireland, she has received bursaries from Kerry County Council and Words Ireland. She is a mentor with Words Ireland and is on the committee of Listowel Writers’ Week, Ireland’s longest-running literary festival. 


'Poetry School offers a diverse range of courses to suit all abilities and interests. Materials are always stimulating and I have written many poems as a result of these courses. It's a great way to develop your poetic voice and work with some fantastic tutors and poets.'

- Autumn 2021 Survey

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