Poetry & Eclogue: Ritual Ecopoetics [Summer 2023]

Poetry & Eclogue: Ritual Ecopoetics [Summer 2023]

Journey from bucolics to contemporary writing to explore experimental Ecopoetry’s radical possibilities.

It is said that poetry in English is always reacting against/with the pastoral; in this course, we’ll explore the recent conjunction between last-modernist/avant-garde practices and pastoral sensibilities, such as transcendentalism and sublimity and expanding the genre into digital and forms that encompass the visual and audio. 

We will trace the practice of English poetry from Eclogue and bucolics – i.e. traditional metrical poetry on pastoral themes from classical writers including Theocritus and Virgil – to its trajectory towards current Ecopoetics, with such anthologies as The Ground Aslant: Radical Landscape Poetry. We’ll read contemporary practitioners, like Richard Skelton, Chris Torrance, and Hariet Tarlo, to learn how to bring experimental practice into the mede, fields, and meadows of our own poems. This course will also intersect with nature worship, drawing from Shintoism, Bardic practices, and Industrial Paganism, tracing the development of incantatory and ritualised means of encapsulating the effects of natural stimuli. 

Throughout the course, you will receive in-depth exercises that build, week-on-week, to equip you with a range of experimental techniques to approach and apprehend the overwhelming effects that nature can have on us mentally, physically, and sensorially. 

Given the focus on experimental practices and avant-garde writing, this course is aimed at experienced peotry students and a fluency with poetic language and ideas will be assumed.

5 fortnightly sessions over 10 weeks, starting 25 May 2023. Live Chats on fortnightly Thursdays, 7–9 pm (BST); first Live Chat: 8 June 2023.

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 or wish to be added to the waiting list of a sold-out course, please email [email protected]. For more information visit our Online Courses page. 

Image Credit: jr-korpa

About Rhys Trimble View Profile

Rhys Trimble is a bilingual poet, performer, performance artist, text artist, visual artist, musician, editor, critic, and shaman. Interested in avant-garde poetry, art, and music, and its parallels in Welsh/ancient artforms, alongside poetry and visual image as ritual and processual cut-up techniques. He is the author of twelve or more books of poetry and Vispo, and vocalist in the noise-punk band Lolfa Binc.

'Continuous development and learning is essential for any poet at any level, as is extensive reading and the opportunity to make new connections. The Poetry School offers all of this and more.'

– Autumn 2022 survey response

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