On Verticality

On Verticality

Break free from the planet’s two-dimensional surface and explore the dizzying heights of verticality in your writing.

This masterclass will ask questions about verticality. For much of human history we have crept along the surface of this planet. Until Constantine John Phipps began to sound the ocean bed between Iceland and Norway in 1773, many Europeans believed the sea was bottomless. In 1783, four of the world’s most-active volcanoes erupted, spewing particles from deep within the earth high into the atmosphere, encompassing Europe and Asia in an unwholesomeness of air. The first balloon ascents were staged in Paris that same strange meteorological year. Human flight would finally be achieved by imitating not a bird but a cloud.

How has verticality altered human perception? In Spinal Catastrophism: A Secret History, Thomas Moynihan argues that we were never meant to walk upright. We were never meant to eat with implements. Posture and language are accidents. Put your phone down for a minute. Lie on your back. On the ground. Let’s think about heights and depths beyond the scale of the human body, unattainable for humans without technology. A sheer drop, from cloud top to ocean floor, from the spinal column to the earth’s molten core.

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.

To apply for a concession 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 or wish to be added to the waiting list of a sold-out course, please email [email protected]

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

Image credit: Dario Brönnimann

About JR Carpenter View Profile

JR Carpenter is a UK-based artist, writer, performer, and researcher working across performance, print, and digital media. Her pioneering works of digital art and literature have been presented in museums, galleries, and festivals around the world. She is a winner of the CBC Quebec Writing Competition, the QWF Carte Blanche Quebec Award, the Expozine Alternative Press Award, the Dot Award for Digital Literature, and the New Media Writing Prize. Her debut poetry collection, An Ocean of Static, was highly commended for the Forward Prizes 2018. Her second collection, This is a Picture of Wind, was published by Longbarrow Press in 2020. She was President of the Board of Directors of Oboro New Media Lab in Montreal from 2006-2010. She was a faculty mentor for the In(ter)ventions: Literary Practice at the Edge residency program at The Banff Centre from 2010-2014. In 2015 she completed a PhD in Performance Writing from the University of the Arts London. She is a Fellow of the Eccles Centre For North American Studies at the British Library (2015) and the Moore Institute at NUI Galway (2019). She will be Writer in Residence at University of Alberta September 2020 – May 2021. http://luckysoap.com

‘I loved the diversity in the workshops and the weaving of other disciplines into the courses, they also seem less heady, and more embodied and innovative than other schools and I could relate immediately to that.’

– Spring 2021 survey response

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