Our Hospitable Languages: Writing Multilingual Poetry (International Course)

Our Hospitable Languages: Writing Multilingual Poetry (International Course)

Embrace multiple languages in your poetry and challenge the boundaries between domestic and foreign.

Languages welcome newcomers. They like to mingle, blunder and tease. They cannot be walled off or purified. As language users, we extend this hospitality by making ‘foreign’ phrases our own: shopping in Polish or Mexican food sections; leafing through phrasebooks in Hong Kong or Berlin; living in France or Italy; tracing etymologies of words; speaking to our neighbours in the Midwest or the West Midlands. To explore the hospitality of English, we will read the work of five multilingual poets: Caroline Bergvall’s Drift thinks in Anglo-Saxon about refugees; Cia Rinne’s minimal texts combine German, English and French to counteract the flood of information; Vahni Capildeo’s ‘Louise Bourgeois: Insomnia Drawings’ responds to the French artist, who looked for home in America; the title of Ewa Chruściel’s Strata means ‘loss’ in Polish; Liz Berry’s Black Country relishes the vernacular. Our own poems will embrace our multiple languages and challenge the boundaries between domestic and foreign.

5 fortnightly sessions over 10 weeks. No live chats. Suitable for UK & International students.

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

About Elżbieta Wójcik-Leese View Profile

Elżbieta Wójcik-Leese writes with/in English, Polish and Danish. Her multilingual texts have appeared in such journals as Cordite Poetry Review, Envoi, Long Poem Magazine, The Projectionist’s Playground, Shearsman, Tears in the Fence and in anthologies, including Other Countries: Contemporary Poets Rewiring History. She has co-written Metropoetica. Poetry and Urban Space: Women Writing Cities (Seren, 2013), where English spans Polish, Latvian, Slovenian, Icelandic and Finnish. Her English translations of contemporary Polish poetry have featured in various anthologies, journals, and on the London Underground. She has guest-edited Polish issues of Poetry Wales and Modern Poetry in Translation. Nothing More (Arc, 2013), her selection from Krystyna Miłobędzka, has been shortlisted for the 2015 Popescu European Poetry Translation Prize. She is also the author of Cognitive Poetic Readings in Elizabeth Bishop: Portrait of a Mind Thinking (De Gruyter Mouton, 2010), based on her research at the Elizabeth Bishop archives. She works at the Centre for Internationalisation and Parallel Language Use, University of Copenhagen. http://poetrysociety.org.uk/poets/elzbieta-wojcik-leese/

‘The Poetry School has changed my life by providing an international forum for writing and talking about poetry – it is wonderful.’

Spring 2017 Online Survey response

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