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? (Note: this is a repeat of a course that has run previously)
5 fortnightly sessions over 10 weeks. Live chats on Thursdays, 7-9pm GMT, first live chat starting 31 May.
More information about how all our online courses work can be found on the Online Courses page
(Image credit: ‘Filippo-Minelli’)
About Jennifer Wong View Profile
Born in Hong Kong and now based in London, Jennifer Wong read English at Oxford and did an MA in creative writing from the University of East Anglia. She is finishing a PhD in creative writing at Oxford Brookes University. Her poems have appeared in The Rialto, Stand, Oxford Poetry, The North, Magma (forthcoming), Asian Cha, Voice & Verse, Morning Star and others, while her translations and reviews have appeared in Poetry London, Poetry Review and Asian Review of Books. She has taught creative writing at Oxford Brookes University and now teaches at Citylit.
‘Writing poetry can be an isolating and discouraging experience. Studying at the poetry school has enabled me to join a community of fellow poets and increased my confidence enormously.’