Love & Bondage in Contemporary Times (International)

Love & Bondage in Contemporary Times (International)

New perspectives on love and pain in the 21st century

Which is the worst pain of all love’s pains? In the novel, Of Human Bondage, the protagonist speaks of how we ‘bond’ ourselves to one another through deciding who we love, and in so doing hand power over to the other. In the book, there is a chain of ‘bonding’ where everyone inescapably loves somebody else, with no-one in control. In the chronicles of our long human relationship with this most ubiquitous of human emotions, ‘love’, suffering, pain & torment are a repeating mantra. This is true of both Eastern & Western traditions. On this course, we will be look at the sheer volume of pain & suffering associated with love in poetry & wider literary history. What is ‘love’ now? Are we still suffering? Is poetry the language of suffering? Of love? Do we as humans choose to suffer to love? These are some of the questions we will ask ourselves, and we will examine them through personal perspectives and the lens of a more post-human poetics of love. The American lyrical school will be looked at, writers such as Jane Hirshfield, Graham Foust, Rob Plath, Bernadette Mayer, Slyvia Legris, Sonia Sanchez. There is a great deal of new language’ that has emerged post-millenium surrounding interpersonal-relationships, such as the language of dominance, especially in terms of the female voice, so embedded in patriarchy for so long, following the #MeToo revelations. What is it we are moving towards? Is it being finally set free?

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

More information about how all our online courses work can be found on the Online Courses page.

Image credit: Dennis Harper

About Sascha Akhtar View Profile

Sascha Akhtar’s poetry has been widely anthologised and translated. She has performed internationally at festivals such as the Poetry International Festival Rotterdam, Avantgarde Festival Hamburg and Southbank Centre’s MELTDOWN festival London curated by Yoko Ono. She has also been part of poetry protests – Against Rape (Peony Moon, 2014) and Solidarity Park Poetry – Poems for the Turkish resistance (Ed. 2013). Her most recent collection is 199 Japanese Names for Japanese Trees (Shearsman, 2016). In 2017 and 2018, her fiction has appeared in Storgy, The Learned Pig, Tears In The Fence, BlazeVox and Anti-Heroin Chic. She is currently working on a book of translations of the work pioneering feminist Pakistani fiction writer Hijjab Imtiaz for Oxford University Press India, due to be published in 2019, alongside a book of poems as a Tarot pack, entitled Only Dying Sparkles (ZimZalla), with original art by John Alexander Arnold. For 2019, she has been invited to be a judge for the Streetcake Experimental Poetry Prize.

‘There is no poetry community where i live, but these courses have given me access to a busy, responsive, energetic and generous community which has completely changed my writing life in a multitude of wonderful ways.’

– Summer 2019 survey response

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