If Trees Could Flee (Spring 2023)

If Trees Could Flee (Spring 2023)

Construct functioning habitats for your work that host disaster, disappearance and destruction.

‘The fugitive is the figure of the Anthropocene, a political invitation to unlearn ‘mastery,’ to fall to the Earth, to learn how to commune with soil… In a sense, the fugitive answers the question that is hidden within the words of my Elders, when they say: ‘in order to find your way, you must become lost.’ – Bayo Akomolafe

‘The trees flee. Their flight
sets the boulevards streaming. And you know:
he whom they flee is the one
you move toward’
– Rainer Maria Rilke

The tree is fluent in stillness, solitude and community. The native tongue of the tree is immobility and yet it is multilingual—in not being able to move it adapts, stretches, lives.

This course will consider the poet’s relationship to the tree: from the paper that is produced from its fall to how it shows up in crises such as climate change and refugee journeys. If Trees Could Flee will also ask what it means to author a book of poetry in 2023 and we will contemplate this fragile power.

We will look at a range of writers, thinkers and artists including Ahmet Altan, Bayo Akomolafe, James Baldwin, Paul Celan, Emily Dickinson, Monica Gagliano, Audre Lorde, Mazen Marrouf, Emi Mahmoud, W.S. Merwin, Vladimir Nabokov, Rilke and Ocean Vuong to develop poems that are alive, pulsating and move. 

5 fortnightly sessions over 10 weeks, starting 18 January 2023. Live Chats on fortnightly Wednesdays, 7–9 pm (GMT); first Live Chat: 1 February.

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: ‘Harvard Library’)

About Sarah Byrne View Profile

Sarah Byrne is a writer, musician, and educator from Ireland now living in France. She is artistic director of The Well Review and is interested in the creative and critical capacities of ‘residence’ in transient communities such as online, prisons and immigration detention centres. Website: www.thewellreview.com

‘I have the opportunity to enjoy teaching by very experienced and dedicated poets, ready to share their knowledge and vision and to encourage their students.’

– Summer 2018 survey response

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