The Poetry of Survival (Online International Course)

The Poetry of Survival (Online International Course)

Learn how language can nourish, make sense from chaos and enable us to survive troubles and traumas.

In this course, we’ll consider poetry’s capacity to sustain, to heal – and to save.  From the prison to the sickbed, from the gulag to the ghetto, we’ll search for poets who have given voice to the struggles many of us will, at some point, face. Most of all, we’ll focus on those who give voice to the experience of survival, from the early lyrical poets, through to those contemporary writers like Claudia Rankine, Carolyn Forché and Kevin Power whose work directly reflects the troubles and traumas of our age. In sharing those poems, we’ll develop our own language of survival, exploring how to write in a way which nourishes, gives shape to chaos, makes sense from confusion, and enables all of us to reach beyond ourselves. This is a course for anyone who believes in the power of language, but it especially is for those who turn to poetry to find a way through – who read and write to save themselves, each other, us all.

5 fortnightly sessions over 10 weeks. No live chats. Suitable for UK & International students.

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

About Clare Shaw Profile photo of Clare Shaw View Profile

Described by the Arvon Foundation as “one of the country’s most dynamic young poets”, Clare Shaw has two collections from Bloodaxe: Straight Ahead (2006), which contained a Forward Prize Highly Commended poem; and Head On (2012), which is, according to the Times Literary Supplement: “fierce … memorable and visceral”. Clare was born in Burnley in 1972, and her poetry finds its roots in place and an uncompromising voice. Often addressing political and personal conflict, it is fuelled by a strong conviction in the transformative and redemptive power of language.

Clare is Royal Literary Fellow at Huddersfield University, and a regular tutor for the Poetry School, the Wordsworth Trust, The National Writer’s Centre of Wales, and the Arvon Foundation. She is also a mental health trainer, activist and author: recent publications include “Otis Doesn’t Scratch: talking to young children about self-injury” (2015); and “Our Encounters with Self-Harm” (2013).

I've had a really productive time in a safe place and with people and content that inspired! Thank you

– Online survey, Spring 2016

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