Imposters! Poetry of Personae, Pretence & Imposter Syndrome

Imposters! Poetry of Personae, Pretence & Imposter Syndrome

Find the forms, craft and confidence to think through pretence, fraudulence and personae.

The ‘I’ of the poem is always, to some degree, a persona. But how can we use poetry to explore multiple and alternative selves, and to think through and express ideas around pretence, fraudulence, or out-of-place ness. 

In this course we will read and discuss work from some of poetry’s great pretenders, including Fernando Pessoa (in translation), Christopher Read, Gwendolyn Brooks, Stevie Smith, and Kei Miller. We will create new poetry using pseudonyms, personae, and imaginary characters; delve into historical, mythical, and folkloric ‘imposters’ such as Hannah Snell, Kaspar Hauser, Zeus, and Red Riding-Hood’s wolf; and find the forms, craft, and confidence to explore our own (and others’) imposter feelings. 

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

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: I.am_nah

About Kate Potts View Profile

Kate Potts‘s second collection, Feral (Bloodaxe) was a Poetry Book Society recommendation and a Telegraph poetry book of the month. She teaches for The Poetry School and Middlesex University, and freelances as a mentor and editor. Pretenders, and Arts Council England funded multi-voice work exploring imposters and imposter feelings, will be published in 2025. 

"I first joined Poetry School when I was based in Asia, in a different time zone and was not part of any local learning or poetry community. Poetry School was truly a lifeline at that time and continues to be a major part of my poetry life. It's fair to say that I have only succeeded in writing some half-way decent poetry because of Poetry School."

– Summer 2023 survey response

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