Family Politics

Family Politics

Probe the (dys)functions and politics of family life

‘Family politics are worse than world politics’
– Michael Cimino

What is it about family that gets under our skin? What makes families political and what tactics do members employ to get to the ‘top’ of their household? This course will explore the politics that keep families together (or drive them apart). Together, we will read poets who know what it means to navigate family politics. We will discuss poems by Natasha Trethewey, Sharon Olds, Pascale Petit, Raymond Carver, clare e. potter, Jackie Kay and more. In reading this work, we will explore how writers duck and dive, fight and flee, accept and forgive. Throughout the course, participants will also have the chance to practice poetic techniques, devices and forms used by these professional poets as well as unpick the politics of their own families through pieces inspired by political propaganda, campaigns, speeches and more. This is a course for anyone who would like to examine the power and pitfalls of family. It is for those who seek to read and write about families in a way which acknowledges their political charge.

5 fortnightly sessions over 10 weeks. Live chats 7-9pm GMT on Thursdays, first live chat starting 31 Jan 2019 (and not 24 Jan 2019, as previously stated on the website.

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

About Christina Thatcher View Profile

Christina Thatcher is a teacher and PhD student at Cardiff University where she studies how creative writing can impact the lives of people bereaved by addiction. Christina keeps busy off campus too as the Poetry Editor for The Cardiff Review and and as a freelance workshop facilitator and festival coordinator. Her poetry and short stories have featured in over 40 publications including The London Magazine, Acumen, Planet Magazine, And Other Poems, The Interpreter’s House, Poetry Salzburg Review and more. Her first collection, More than you were, was shortlisted in Bare Fiction’s Debut Poetry Collection Competition in 2015 and published by Parthian Books in 2017. To learn more about Christina’s work please visit her website: or follow her on Twitter @writetoempower.

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