“Happy Those Early Days!’: Writing the Child Self

“Happy Those Early Days!’: Writing the Child Self

Move beyond simple nostalgia to explore childhood, and writing the ‘child self’, on its own terms.

*  To ensure the safety of our tutors and students, this course will take place on video-conferencing platform, ZOOM *

In this two-weekend course, we will read poems that evoke and explore childhood or the ‘child self’ – thinking about the way poets remember or re-enter childhood through poetry. We will look at a broad range of poets, both traditional and contemporary, from poems such as Wordworth’s ‘We are Seven’ and Blake’s celebrations of children and innocence, to more recent explorations such as those of Marie Howe, Mark Doty, Sharon Olds, and Rachel Zucker. 

We will use our reading and discussion to stimulate our own poems of childhood and children. So many first chapbooks and collections use childhood as material, and we will consider the different angles available to us as writers, and how to move past simple nostalgia. The course will probe multiple themes including memory, imagination, play, parents, brothers, sisters, and the role of school and education – seeking to uncover how poets might tap into the ‘child self’ in writing.

The course will take place over 2 weeks, the first being filled with challenging reading, writing, and group discussions on the topic, after which you’ll be set various writing prompts and exercises to complete at home, before reconvening for a Zoom-based workshops and development sessions in part 2 to discuss and develop your new work.

Saturdays & Sundays: 27-28 February & 13-14 March, 10:30 – 1pm. The course will take place using the video conferencing platform, Zoom.

More information about how all our face-to-face courses work can be found on the Face-to-Face courses page.

Image Credit: Anita Jankovic

About Hannah Lowe View Profile

Hannah Lowe has published two full collections of poetry – Chick, which won the Michael Murphy Memorial Award for Best First Collection, and Chan. In 2014, she was named as one of 20 Next Generation British poets. She has also published four chapbooks – most recently, The Neighbourhood – and a family memoir, Long Time No See. She lectures in Creative Writing at Brunel University. www.hannahlowe.org.  


'As my first encounter with the world of poetry-writing, the Poetry School has made me re-evaluate the things I enjoy and inspired me to pursue a totally different study path. Thank you, Poetry School!!'

– Spring 2020 survey response

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