Playing Poetry: An Introduction to Game Poetry & Poetry Games

Playing Poetry: An Introduction to Game Poetry & Poetry Games

A playful exploration of how games and poetry can interact, and how interactivity can bring a new aspect to reading poetic text.

‘A game is a series of interesting decisions’ – Sid Meier

Poetry thrives on its playful nature – constructing wordgames, playing with form. Game design is deeply concerned with how players will read a given text, whether written or not. When a creative work pulls both spaces together, something entirely new and exciting is made. In this course we will explore a range of interactive and game-based poetry, reading and playing works by contemporary poets and game-makers such as Astra Papachristodoulou, The Windows Project, Jon Stone, Harry Josephine Giles, Gemma Mahadeo, and Cecile Richard.

Over the four sessions we will use forms such as Choose Your Own Adventure, hypertext poetry, and classic board games to create new playful poems that present the reader with a choice as to how to read them. Borrowing techniques from game design, performance, map-making, and others, we will learn how to use interactive forms that spark new relationships with the content of a poem. This is a practice-based and playful course that considers what poetry can be when the reader is presented with a series of interesting decisions.

4 fortnightly sessions on Sundays, 2–4pm (BST/GMT), starts 23 October 2022.

Sessions for this course will use a hybrid format, meaning they will run both in-person at Somerset House (WC2R 1LA) and via Zoom, if you would prefer to join remotely.

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. More information about how our courses work can be found on the In-Person and Video Courses pages. If you have any questions or wish to be added to the waiting list of a sold-out course, please email [email protected]. 

Image credit: Hello I’m Nik

About Nick Murray View Profile

Nick Murray is a writer and artist making playful narrative work focusing on loss and digital cultures. This often takes the form of games and interactive poetry. Nick is an associate producer with Penned in the Margins and lead producer for Now Play This festival.

Recent projects include Edwin Morgan’s Computer, commissioned by The Edwin Morgan Trust, longform interactive poetry sequence Dial 55555, and Waiting for Godot: A Simulator, exhibited at Festival ECRA 2021. Their poetry has been published by Sidekick Books, Broken Sleep, and Penned in the Margins. Nick is producing the upcoming Poetry Games exhibition for the National Poetry Library.

'The poetry school has helped me turn a corner in my personal life and given me nourishment through learning.'

- Autumn 2021 survey response

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