Genius Loci: The Spirit of Place

Genius Loci: The Spirit of Place

Capture the essential poetics of place; making writing the local natural.

Genius loci
Noun. Plural: genii locorum.
1. The prevailing character or atmosphere of a place. 2. The presiding god or spirit of a place.

Places include and exceed us, they persist and evolve though time, and each place has an animated spirit of its own, distinct from one another. So, how can poetry capture that unique sense of a place? On this course, you will learn to recognise the characters of places, find their local languages, and speak with their resident spirits. You will transform your own observations, experiences, and memories into poems redolent of place, whether natural, urban, wild, familiar, foreign, new, old, vast or small. You will be inspired by writers such as WS Graham, Jen Hadfield, Alice Oswald, Federico Garcia Lorca, Walt Whitman, and understand how these poets have captured the spirits of places. 

5 fortnightly sessions over 10 weeks, starting 23 Jan 2024. Live Chats on fortnightly Tuesdays, 7–9 pm (GMT); first Live Chat: 6 Feb 2024. 

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: @kmitchhodge

About Cat Woodward View Profile

Cat Woodward runs The Poetry Master Class (@catsmasterclass). Her third collection, Strange Shape, is due in 2023 from Gatehouse. Her first collection, Sphinx, was published by Salò in 2017; her second, Blood. Flower. Joy!, was published by Knives, Forks and Spoons in 2019. In 2018 she won the Ivan Juritz Prize for creative experiment. You can read more about her work at 

"I liked the opportunity of being able to work at my own pace, withing reason. The time scale for working on assignments and giving peer feedback was very well balanced."

– Summer 2023 survey response

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