Explore the importance of irreverence in contemporary poetry, before writing some impudent poems of your own.
‘I would’ve put a quote here to entice you, but I hate quotes at the beginning of things; plus every quote I would’ve used to advertise this workshop would have been “too rude”…’ – Rachel Long
The word my mother used most on me from the ages 4-19 was ‘inappropriate’ – the way I sat to watch Blue Peter, the clothes I chose, the words I used. I’m going to wildly assume this didn’t just happen to me, and so what effect does the policing of girl’s bodies, minds and language have? Moreover, what effect does it have on those who grew up and became writers?
We’ll hopefully have a lot of fun reading and discussing the work of Hera Lindsay Bird, Morgan Parker, Angel Nafis, and Samantha Irby (who’s not a poet but a blogger, comedian & essayist – curveball. My workshop). We’ll be asking questions like: Who are these irreverent womyn? What role does irreverence play in their work? Can a well-directed FU be an act of speaking truth to power? Who/what is the power they’re speaking to? If irreverence is showing a lack of (the expected) respect for official, important or holy things then what is its role within contemporary poetry? Is there sometimes virtue in irreverence, are there rewards? We might begin to answer why these womyn have to be so crude, what happened to their respect. (We might even answer why I’m spelling womyn like this). Then we’ll do the forbidden, they’ll become our examples, we’ll imitate their bad behaviour but in our own unique voices, with our own clothes on, sitting however we like.
*This workshop is open to ALL. Yes, men too (just because the focus is on womyn writers doesn’t mean you can’t come).
This course is a half-day workshop running 2pm – 4:30pm on Friday 26 July and is part of our Summer School. To find out more about the courses in the Summer School, please see here.
Image credit: ‘C-Monster’
About Rachel Long View Profile
Rachel Long is a poet and the founder of Octavia – Poetry Collective for Womxn of Colour, which is housed at Southbank Centre, London. She is Assistant Tutor to Jacob Sam-La Rose on the Barbican Young Poets programme 2015-present.
‘The Poetry School has given me more confidence and valuable experience with a variety of courses to choose from. The teachers are top quality and the material is excellent.’