Let There be Poems!

Let There be Poems!

Consider how one might write poems of faith in this more secular age.

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

‘I have never separated the writing of poetry from prayer.’ – Derek Walcott

Writers have long experienced the connection between poetry and prayer, but in this secular age, is it still possible to write religious poems, and how do we go about doing so? How do writers of faith write poems which praise, sorrow, question, and meditate, and yet make their work feel contemporary?

During this one-day workshop, we’ll read a variety of faith poems in order to see the many approaches available to us, looking at work by a number of poets including R.S. Thomas, Denise Leverton, Yehoshua November, Jane Kenyon, Kaveh Akbar, Lucille Clifton, and Marie Harjo. We’ll think about form, and how to use negative space. We’ll also consider some of the problems associated with religious poetry, and discuss how to present our work without slipping into sentiment or piety, or a ‘private’ language of belief.

With writing prompts along the way, we’ll work together in a spirit of discovery and experimentation to unlock new poems and discuss vital questions of writing and faith in a supportive and engaged environment.

Saturdays 5 & 12 June, 10.30am – 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: Annie Spratt

About Kathryn Simmonds View Profile

Kathryn Simmonds has published two collections with Seren, Sunday at the Skin Launderette (2008), and The Visitations (2013). She has been Poet-in-Residence at the Charles Causley Trust in Cornwall, and her poems have appeared in various publications including Poetry, The Guardian, The New Statesman, The Poetry Review and The Irish Times. Her poems and short stories have also been broadcast on BBC radio. She has worked as a poetry tutor for Morley College and Oxford University Continuing Education, and run a number of courses for The Poetry School. She lives in Norwich with her family.

'Poetry School classes have made a huge difference to my life as well as my poetry. I have met so many interesting people through it and has been very helpful for me in some difficult times.'

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