Radio Silence (Spring 2023)

Radio Silence (Spring 2023)

Radio Silence considers the absence of voice in writing—what it is to be silenced, what it is to refuse to speak, what it is to be untranslatable.

In this course we will work experimentally with the spaces, metaphors, and struggles of ‘transmission’. In relation to analogue radio, the term ‘static’ is associated with faulty transmission or faulty reception—static is communication gone wrong. But what if ‘static’ is thought of as a rich space, a generative space, where the glitches and frictions of communication are valued for themselves? Looking at writers and artists such as Bhanu Kapil—‘I was interested in vibration. I was interested in what happens when you don’t say anything at all’, (Ban en Banlieue, 2015), Anne Carson— ‘Metaphysical silence happens inside words themselves. And its intentions are harder to define. Every translator knows the point where one language cannot be rendered into another’, (Variations on the Right to Remain Silent, 2013), and Roy Claire Potter, we will work across genres and mediums including erasure poetry and expanded translation to explore the richness of static. As Tom McCarthy writes: ‘The static is like the sound of thinking… It’s like the sound of thought itself, its hum and rush’. Tom McCarthy, (C, 2010).

5 fortnightly sessions over 10 weeks. No Live Chats. Suitable for UK & International students.  

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: davide-pietralunga

About Emma Bolland View Profile

Emma Bolland is a writer and artist who explores the intersections and interstices between modes of writing, reading, speaking, and silencing. Forthcoming publications include Instructions from Light (JOAN publishing, winter 2023), a hybrid novella / long poem that turns on a translation of the impressionist film-maker Louis Delluc’s 1920 screenplay Le Silence. Previous publications include a cross-genre collection Over, in, and Under, (Dostoevsky Wannabe, 2019). They teach on the BA and MFA Fine Art at Sheffield Hallam University in the UK, and with Rachel Smith, co-edit the experimental press intergraphia.


‘I resolved to do something that terrified me in 2019, take poetry out of the privacy of my room and talk to others about it. I was really apprehensive about attending the workshop, but I found the teacher really understanding, the session broke down some of my trepidation. My whole life I have been nervous to talk to others about poetry for fear of judgement, so it was a unique opportunity to speak to other people who are curious about poetry too. I came away buzzing with energy and feeling empowered.’

– Spring 2019 survey response

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