How can poetry speak to us if it does not take risks, say something bold and new, make adventurous leaps with language and form?
‘A poem should take you somewhere different. Of all people, you might say, a poet should be the one least likely to step into the same river twice’ – Seamus Heaney. This online course will take risks with poetry. How can poetry speak to us if it does not take risks, say something bold and new, make adventurous leaps with language and form? Where is the reward (if any) in an easy idea, image or phrase? Our creative decision-making is often most alert when it is least compliant and preoccupied with its own safety, when we are prepared to chop up lines, abort cruise control and write with passion and an open mind. Over ten weeks we will make poems that startle and jolt us, pushing ourselves outside the comfort zone, making meaning throughout uncertainty. We will explore and learn from the works by some of the most exciting contemporary poets including Emily Berry, Mai Der Vang, Jon Stone, Ocean Vuong, Wayne Holloway-Smith, Karen Solie, Miriam Nash and others, as we develop and deepen our writing further, finding out ways one can take and justify risks in a manageable way. In other words, we will make poems that leap, hop, pirouette, not poems that toe the line. A ship is always safe at shore, but that is not what it was made for, so join us as we venture out and map routes towards originality in our writing, asking: where is safe territory, where does our oceanic imagination begin?
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.
(Image: ‘Filippo Minelli’)
About Jennifer Wong View Profile
Born and grew up in Hong Kong, Jennifer Wong is the author of Goldfish (Chameleon Press 2013), a collection that evokes childhood memories, superstitions and myths in the changing landscape of Hong Kong. In 2014, she received the Young Artist Award (Literary Arts) from the Hong Kong Arts Development Council. She has an MA in creative writing from UEA and is completing her PhD in creative writing at Oxford Brookes where she is teaching creative writing as Associate Lecturer. Her work has appeared in The Rialto, Oxford Poetry, Stand, The North, Asian Cha, Voice & Verse, And Other Poems and others. She also writes reviews for journals including Poetry Review and Poetry London.
I have written poems about subjects which I had not considered before and really pushed boundaries with form and content.