SCULPTING LANGUAGE: Women Making Visual Poetry

SCULPTING LANGUAGE: Women Making Visual Poetry

Explore the sensorial dimension of visual poetry by engaging with the work of some of the most exciting innovative women poets today.

‘To feel the Earth as your own skin.’ – Cecilia Vicuña 

Existing gender inequalities within patriarchal society predispose women’s encounters with the material as multi-layered. This disparity was recently highlighted by Amanda Earl in her vital anthology Judith: Women Making Visual Poetry in which Earl presents a historical exclusion of women from canonical anthologies of visual poetry. With this in mind, this course celebrates the community of visual poetry as a space of a returned and enduring presence for women – it presents, and engages with, a selection of innovative poets within the field. 

Using Amanda Earl’s celebrated Judith anthology as a springboard, this course brings together multiple visual poetries and hands-on techniques to make connections between diverse interdisciplinary women practitioners and their works. Through the discussion of relevant materials, the course will engage with the following questions: What is a sculptural poem? What can a poem in this mode tell us about one’s environment or, more specifically, our shared material landscape? In what ways do tactile encounters widen our understanding of visual poetry?  

These questions and more will be approached from a female viewpoint by engaging with and responding to, relevant visual poems from selected contributors of the Judith anthology including Kate Siklosi, Karenjit Sandhu, Audra Wolowiec, Kimberly Campanello, Ines Seidel, and others. A series of accompanying writing prompts in response to these artists will bring together multiple approaches and techniques – such as erasure poetry, sculptural literature, and collaging – to highlight the multidimensionality of female tactile encounters and the common themes occurring among their varied subjectivities. 

With over 1,100 women making visual poetry today (as per by Amanda Earl), there is an abundance of women experimenting with visual-verbal qualities, enough to demonstrate the feminine values of fluidity and multiplicity, enough to show resistance in a world fuelled by injustices. If you are keen to experiment with language in interesting ways, then this course is for you! 

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: Astra Papachristodoulou

About Astra Papachristodoulou View Profile

Astra Papachristodoulou is a PhD researcher and tutor at the University of Surrey. Her practice-based doctoral project at Surrey is funded by the Doctoral College Studentship Award and explores sculptural poetics as a revolutionary act in the context of the Anthropocene. She is a widely published author with work featured in UK and international magazines including The Times, Magma Poetry, and BeeCraft. Astra is the author of several books including Stargazing (Guillemot Press), and her work has been translated into Turkish, Korean, German, Russian, Slovenian, and Spanish. 

Astra currently works at The Poetry Society’s Poetry Review. She is also the founder of Poem Atlas and has curated several visual poetry exhibitions across the UK. She won the Pebeo Mixed Media Art Prize in 2016, and her visual poetry work has been showcased at venues such as the National Poetry Library, Kew Gardens, and Christie’s, London. 

‘Poetry School classes have been really important to me stimulating me to write more and improving the quality of my writing.’

– Autumn 2022 School Survey

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