Read and write poetry, listen to music, take inspiration from lyrics, and consider the connections between them all.
‘The poet doesn’t invent, s/he listens.’ – Jean Cocteau
Some poems explicitly aspire to be song. Some songs sound like poetry almost accidentally. How should we receive the works of a Nobel Prize for Literature-winning songwriter? Does it matter, as long as we are receiving them?
Sailing past the tempestuous questions surrounding lyrics as poetry, we will look to the lyrics in poetry, and use music to inspire our own work in different ways. We will try out a range of prompts and writing experiments. We will supercharge our writing playlists, foregrounding the music we usually have on in the background. We will build a practice based on listening, taking inspiration wherever we hear it, keeping both an eye and an ear out.
We needn’t limit ourselves to lyrics and words we know: we’ll encounter, for example, King Lear’s iambic howling and whatever noises Missy Elliott uses in ‘WTF’. As well as Bob Dylan, Shakespeare and Missy, we will enlist the help of hip hop, Motown, radio shows, folk songs, blues songs and blues poems, Emily Berry, Chuck Berry, Kayo Chingonyi, Janis Joplin, Patricia Smith, Kamau Brathwaite, Will Burns, and more.
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: Travis Yewell
About View Profile
Lily Blacksell is a poet living in London. Her work has appeared in Poetry Review, Boston Review, BOMB Magazine, Bath Magg, Magma, The Scores and elsewhere. Her pamphlet There’s No Such Thing was published by ignitionpress in 2018. Lily runs a poetry and music night called Canon Fodder. She has an MFA in poetry from Columbia University, where she was a teaching fellow.
‘I found a whole new confidence in my poetry by being amongst a welcoming and committed group of writers. I took what I learned, ran with it and the poems it inspired were included in a portfolio I submitted to a university I will shortly be joining as a PhD student. It wasn’t the reason I joined the Poetry School, I joined because I love poetry, but it certainly gave me the confidence boost I needed to take that next step.’