Submit your poems to rhythms of the natural world

Poetic knowledge is born in the silence of scientific knowledge […] To put it another way, poetry is a blossoming.’   ̶ Aimé Césaire

Did you know that if you stethoscope a tree, you can hear the hum of its heartbeat shivering down each sinewy spine? In this workshop, focused on nature’s life-cycles, we will study the symbolism at play in natural phenomena. From the sinewy ropes of the silk-cotton tree that coil around ancient ruins like a reptile round its prey, squeezing the stone in its constricting embrace whilst simultaneously saving it from collapse, to the self-healing skeletons of living root bridges that can survive for centuries, cupping puddles in their palms, you will draw inspiration from the symbiotic forces that determine a lifespan.

From the momentousness of moss to the immortality of certain molluscs, there is plenty of poetic inspiration in the natural world. Each writing prompt will be used in parallel to an interactive video presentation for complete audio-visual immersion. We’ll examine how poets such as David Morley, Helen Mort, Louise Glück, Paul Sutherland and others unravel the possibility of a poetic parallel universe in the natural world, and how each links to human fate. The workshop will include a short walk to a nearby park to stethoscope trees and hear the hum of their heartbeats, seeking out their stories of critical endangerment as the threat of climate change hazes up the horizon.

This course is a half-day workshop running 2pm – 4.30pm on Wednesday 10 April and is part of our Tutor Academy week.

About Jade Cuttle View Profile

Jade Cuttle graduated from the University of Cambridge with a First-Class Honours in Literature. She has written for the Guardian, the Times Literary Supplement, the Times and the Sunday Times, The Poetry Review, the Observer, Poetry London, Mslexia, the Poetry School and elsewhere. She composed an album of nature-inspired poem-songs entitled ‘Leaves & Lovers’, and has performed on BBC Radio 3 in association with BBC Proms. Jade is currently completing an MA in Poetry at the University of East Anglia, working as a poetry editor for Ambit and leading workshops for Norfolk Wildlife Trust and the National Centre for Writing.

‘The poetry school has supported me on a journey to rediscover and connect with poetry again after decades of feeling poetry was for other people. I now have the confidence to write out the poems that have been residing within me for so long.’

– Summer 2018 survey response

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