Re-Make Believe: Shaping the Fairytale

Re-Make Believe: Shaping the Fairytale

Twist and reshape fairytales, the tales from your childhoods and adulthoods

“Fairy tales are more than true: not because they tell us that dragons exist, but because they tell us that dragons can be beaten.” (Neil Gaiman). Fairy tales are the ideal literary medium for children – often blending outlandish myth and feats of imagination with the performative energy of poetic speech – but they have long been equally prized by adults for their ability to powerfully embody universal truths and shared/shifting identities through metaphor. In this course, we’ll give ourselves the space, time and reading materials to explore the spirit of the fairytale – and its recasting – in our poetry. The tradition of the fairytale is all about its re-telling — writers and creators from Angela Carter, Walt Disney, Jeanette Winterson, and Helen Oyeyemi have all continued to twist and reshape the fairytale for their own purposes and times – and so we’ll draw on tales from our childhoods (or adulthoods), we’ll play with and interrogate tropes and stereotypes, and we’ll invent stories of our own. We’ll look fairytale moments such as the warning, the instruction, the wish and the moral, and use their forms to draft new work, and poets such as Louise Gluck, Charles Simic, Farrah Field, Matthea Harvey, Jane McKie and Kiki Petrosino will guide our way.

5 fortnightly sessions over 10 weeks. Live chats on Tuesdays, 7-9pm GMT, first live chat starting 10 October.

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

About Miriam Nash View Profile

Miriam Nash is a poet and educator based in London. Her first collection, All the Prayers in the House (published by Bloodaxe in June 2017) won an Eric Gregory Award in 2015 and was runner-up in the 2016 Edwin Morgan Awards. Her poems have appeared in The Guardian, Mslexia and The Rialto and her pamphlet, Small Change was published by flipped eye in 2013. She has been teaching for The Poetry School since 2013.

‘Each course has enriched my life. I have entered deeply into new poetry, pushed my own writing to new limits, had immense delight from deepening my appreciation.’

Spring 2017 Online Survey response

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