How might we eschew a life built upon lies, secrets and silence? And how might a “queer” poetics free us of our emotional chains?
According to the poet Adrienne Rich, ‘the possibilities that exist between two people, or among a group of people, are a kind of alchemy. The liar is someone who keeps losing sight of these possibilities’. Elsewhere, Hélène Cixous observes how ‘our whole lives are built on lying – they are strange buildings’. How might we eschew a life built upon lies, secrets and silence? And how might a “queer” poetics free us of our emotional chains? What of other aspects of ourselves which underpin our complex identities – such as race, gender and class? This course looks at what it means to be a “queer” poet, to refuse to be silent about a part of ourselves that is both deeply personal and fundamentally political. In this three-week intensive, we shall explore – through a series of assignments and readings – canonical and contemporary work by queer poets from the UK and US. Drawing inspiration from poets with intersectional identities – including Adrienne Rich, Audre Lorde, Nikki Giovanni, Dawn Lundy Martin, Jay Bernard, Andrew McMillan, Eduardo C Corral, Danez Smith, Ocean Vuong, and Chen Chen – we will examine how we might approach the multi-faceted subject of queerness, thus allowing our whole, undivided selves to flourish.
Poetry Studios are three week intensive courses. Reading material will be distributed before the course begins. There are no live chats so they are suitable for both UK & International students.
For more information visit our Online Courses page.
About Mary Jean Chan View Profile
Mary Jean Chan is a poet and editor from Hong Kong. In 2017, Mary Jean was shortlisted for the Forward Prize for Best Single Poem, whilst winning the Poetry Society Members’ Competition and the inaugural Poetry and Psychoanalysis Competition. In 2016, she won the Oxford Brookes International Poetry Competition (ESL), and was shortlisted for the London Magazine Poetry Prize, the Rialto Open Pamphlet Competition and the Resurgence Prize. She received the 2015 University of London MA Creative Writing Prize, and is currently a PhD candidate and Research Associate in Creative Writing at Royal Holloway, University of London. Her poems have appeared in The Poetry Review, PN Review, Ambit Magazine, The London Magazine (online), The Rialto, The Scores, Callaloo Journal and English: Journal of the English Association. She is currently co-editor of Oxford Poetry, with poems forthcoming in Carcanet New Poetries VII and a debut pamphlet due in Spring 2018 from ignitionpress.
The Poetry School online courses provide an invaluable opportunity to people, no matter where they are based, to learn more about poetry, hone their own poetry, and be part of a poet community. The quality of teaching and student interaction is wonderful. Thank you Poetry School!