Lighting the Flame: Writing Fire Studio

Lighting the Flame: Writing Fire Studio

Charge your poems with fire's many themes

‘We’ve turned our walks into finding things / that catch fire easily, like us’

– from ‘The Fire People’ by Mildred Barya

This course will examine how poets write about fire and its many literal and metaphorical identities. From telling stories around a campfire to watching flames leap from the hearth, humans have always been fascinated by fire. Early philosophers believed fire to be the spark of life, the fundamental element of all creation (see the tale of Prometheus); and even to this day the metaphorical associations of fire with certain qualities – such as spirit, creation/destruction, power, and the soul – appears as a constant across poetries, cultures and religions of the world. Together, we will consider fire as a universal symbol, reflect on our personal relationship with fire, discuss the legacies of fires in London and Paris and explore the impacts of forest fires across America. We will read widely, taking inspiration from historical texts, news articles and survivors’ stories, as well as poetry by Katie Ford, Catie Rosemurgy, Peter Didsbury, Jeanne Marie Beaumont, Linda Bierds and more. By examining fire, we will also discover new ways to write the themes it so often represents: destruction, courage and passion. This is a course for anyone who is inspired by the tamed and untamed nature of fire and seeks to harness its power in their poems.

Studios are three week intensive courses. Reading material will be distributed before the course begins. There are no live chats so they are suitable for both UK & International students.

For more information visit our Online Courses page.

A 10% discount is available to residents local to the Poetry School (anyone currently living in Rotherhithe, Riverside, Surrey Docks, South Bermondsey, Grange or Livesey). Please contact for further information.
Image Credit: Adam Baker

About Christina Thatcher View Profile

Christina Thatcher is a teacher and PhD student at Cardiff University where she studies how creative writing can impact the lives of people bereaved by addiction. Christina keeps busy off campus too as the Poetry Editor for The Cardiff Review and and as a freelance workshop facilitator and festival coordinator. Her poetry and short stories have featured in over 40 publications including The London Magazine, Acumen, Planet Magazine, And Other Poems, The Interpreter’s House, Poetry Salzburg Review and more. Her first collection, More than you were, was shortlisted in Bare Fiction’s Debut Poetry Collection Competition in 2015 and published by Parthian Books in 2017. To learn more about Christina’s work please visit her website: or follow her on Twitter @writetoempower.

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– Summer 2019 survey response

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