Lying Holds the Pleasure / of Ruining a Form

Lying Holds the Pleasure / of Ruining a Form

Engage in lies and deceit to push poetic forms beyond their limits and unlock the explosive power of your writing.

This course will engage with two fundamental aspects of poetic writing:  the pleasure of lying (enjoying the limits and instability of truth) and the ruined form (collapsed expectations, broken meter, voided resolution). But do not be deceived! We lie and ruin in service of a greater truth and a more essential form. As Jack Gilbert wrote in Poetry is a Kind of Lying: “Degas said he didn’t paint / what he saw, but what / would enable them to see / the thing he had”.

Prior to class, students will receive a packet of poems by writers whose work demonstrates particular interest in these concerns, such as Kamau Brathwaite, Gerard Manley Hopkins, Jane Gregory, and Julian Talamantez Brolaski. They will then be invited to submit a poem of their own, guided and informed by this reading, which we will workshop together as a class. Life will wake you up.

Saturday 30 May, 10.30am – 4.30pm.

All classes will be in our offices at 1 Dock Offices, Surrey Quays Road, Canada Water, SE16 2XU. The venue is a 2-minute walk from Canada Water Station. Take the ‘Lower Road’ exit from the station onto Surrey Quays Road, then walk straight ahead, crossing over Deal Porters Way, and the Dock Offices come up on the left. The door for the school is at the far end of the building.

More information about how all our face-to-face courses work can be found on the Face-to-Face 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 [email protected] for further information.
Image Credit: Julia Joppien

About Elaine Kahn View Profile

Elaine Kahn is the author of Romance or The End (Soft Skull, 2020) and Women in Public (City Lights Publishers, 2015). Her writing has appeared in Frieze, The Brooklyn Rail, jubilat, Poetry Foundation, Art Papers, and elsewhere. She received an MFA from the Iowa Writers’ Workshop and teaches at the Poetry Field School. She lives in Los Angeles, California.

‘The Poetry School programmes such thoughtful and unusual courses and enables poets to feel validated, to become more curious, more skilled, more engaged in poetry and the world.’

– Summer 2019 survey response

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