Mayonnaise & the Sublime Masterclass

Mayonnaise & the Sublime Masterclass

Locating the liminal in conceptual emulsion – poetics at the unfathomable edge.

‘I think that writing in general… is a constant disruption of the means of semantic production, all the time’, says the poet, theorist, and critic, Fred Moten in an interview with David S. Wallace for The New Yorker. In the same interview, Moten introduces the relation of mayonnaise and the sublime: ‘I think mayonnaise has a complex kind of relation to the sublime… and I think emulsion does generally. It’s something about that intermediary – I don’t know – place, between being solid and being a liquid, that has a weird relation to the sublime, in the sense that the sublimity of it is in the indefinable nature of it’. 

This course is indebted to Moten’s thinking and narrative example. Mayonnaise & the Sublime will explore liminal spaces, and the abstract. It will focus on the unexpected – on the openness of what is simultaneously both beyond our reach and in our very grasp. Combining the metaphysical with the epistemological, this course will investigate how to write about abstraction, the nature of knowledge, unknown spaces, transcendence, and visible places in our reimaginations of what is real and true, what is imagined and ugly, or beautiful. A range of poetry by Fred Moten, C.D. Wright, Eléna Rivera, Claudia Rankin, Emily Dickinson, Monika Aasprong, Reginald Shepherd, Jorie Graham, Amiri Baraka, and Brian Teare, to name a few, will delve into various perceptions of what it means to exist in this world and be in awe of its darkness and light. 

Masterclasses are an expanded version of our International Courses, with a much deeper consideration of technical craft and critical theory. These 12-week courses (maximum 10 places) are for advanced students only, and fluency with poetic language and ideas will be assumed. There are no live chats and they are suitable for UK and International students.  


Concessions & Accessibility

To apply for a concessionary rate, please send relevant documentation showing your eligibility for one of our concessions to [email protected]; conditions of eligibility are detailed here. If you have any questions, wish to be added to the waiting list of a sold-out course, or require any form of adjustment to access our courses, please email [email protected]For more information visit our Online Courses page.

Image credit: @rues

About Agnieszka Studzinska View Profile

Dr Agnieszka Studzińska has a PhD in Creative Writing from Royal Holloway University of London. Her thesis explores the poetry of Carolyn Forché, Alice Notley and Mei Mei Berssenbrugge in their approach to the image of the house. She also holds an MA in Creative Writing from the UEA. Her first debut collection, Snow Calling was shortlisted for the London New Poetry Award 2010. Her second collection, What Things Are is published by Eyewear Publishing (2014). Her most recent collection is called Branches of a House (Shearsman Books 2021). She is interested in the practice of the creative critical, and all matters exploring boundaries, architectural spaces, and migration. She is currently working on her fourth collection and teaches creative writing for The Poetry School, among other educational institutions. 

"It has opened my eyes to the wealth of talented poets. It has made me realise that anyone can be a poet and you don't have to be a published poet to get fulfilment out of poetry. With discipline of the mind, anything is possible."

– Autumn 2023 survey response

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