An advanced online course investigating and mastering the elegy
‘The souls of the dead are the spirit of language’ – Denise Riley. The elegiac impulse is strong in poets: we find comfort (and perhaps power) when we’re able to ‘Say Something Back’. But what do we say and how do we go about saying it? Writing in the wake of loss can be a daunting and isolating process. This course looks to see how a variety of contemporary poets have responded to grief, using Kevin Young’s recent anthology The Art of Losing as a touchstone, we’ll come together in a spirit of discovery and experimentation. What is an elegy? How do we enter into a conversation with all the other poems which have gone before, yet still make something new? We’ll be interested in formal questions, particularly sonic effects and the use of white space, and we’ll think about the influence of tradition and belief. Each assignment will investigate a different writing approach, looking closely at example poems by contemporary poets including Lucille Clifton, Christopher Reid, Marie Howe, Denise Riley and Emily Berry. Our aim is to explore the universal yet make poems which are completely our own. And we’ll find opportunities for joy and celebration too.
Masterclasses are a new course format, an expanded version of our Interactive and International courses, with a much deeper consideration of technical craft and critical theory. These 12 week courses (maximum 10 places) are for advanced students only, and fluency with poetic language and ideas will be assumed. There are no live chats and they are suitable for UK and International students.
About Kathryn Simmonds View Profile
Kathryn Simmonds has published two collections with Seren, Sunday at the Skin Launderette (2008), which won the Forward Best First Collection Prize, and The Visitations (2013). In 2013/14 she was the first Poet-in-Residence at the Charles Causley Trust in Cornwall. Her poems have appeared in a number of publications including The Guardian, Poetry, The Poetry Review, The Irish Times and been broadcast on BBC. She has worked as a poetry tutor for Morley College and Oxford University Continuing Education and lives in Norwich with her family.