Poet / Tree: Masterclass

Poet / Tree: Masterclass

Investigate the poetic potential of trees in myths, legends, and scientific sources.

Over the past quarter of a century or so, our understanding of trees and their environments has deepened. This course investigates the poetic potential of trees, of how they interact with each other and with their location, and how they change the world. We will also be thinking about the presences of different tree species throughout history, and the cultural associations that certain kinds of trees have. The course looks at the poetics of myth and legend with regard to trees, at the shifting borderlines between the scientific and the imaginary, and the prospects of a richer future for the environment. Reference will be made to Peter Wohlleben’s ground-breaking book The Secret Life of Trees, Richard Power’s Pulitzer Prize-winning novel The Overstory, and to a wide range of artistic responses to trees across the arts.

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.

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

Image Credit: Brian Garrity

About Peter Hughes View Profile

Peter Hughes is a poet and the founding editor of Oystercatcher Press, currently based in Snowdonia, Wales. In 2016 he was the Judith E. Wilson Visiting Fellow in Poetry at the University of Cambridge. His many books include a Selected Poems (Shearsman, 2013), innovative versions of all Petrarch’s sonnets Quite Frankly (Reality Street Editions, 2015), Cavalcanty (Carcanet, 2017) and via Leopardi 21 (Equipage, 2018). 

‘Peter (Hughes) is an outstanding tutor. His assignments are both interesting and challenging. His feedback is thorough and incredibly helpful. I highly recommend him.’

– Autumn Term 2020 survey response

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