Site-Specific Writing Studio

Site-Specific Writing Studio

After being cooped up inside for so long, take your writing into the world and get site-specific.

In these studio sessions you will be invited to respond directly to place/s of your choice. You will be asked to get to a site of your own choosing, spend time at it, research it, let yourself be inspired by it and create pieces of writing following different briefs, each of which encourage a different approach to place. They need to be reachable by local transport.

Part of your writing research will involve keeping a practice and research log or journal. These are quick sketches and prompts, and can be photographic, video, audio, as much as written thoughts about the site itself. This material will usefully support your text/poem/prose piece for that session.

You will be asked to work in different ways throughout the course, which will involve teasing out different elements of the site to write freely from, including its sounds or light resonances, specific and limited angles, ongoing activities, its histories, and/or your journeys there.

A few pointers:

Etel Adnan, Journey to Mount Tamalpais
Georges Perec, Species of Space
Tonya M. Foster, A Swarm of Bees in Hight Court
Allen Ginsberg, Wichita Vortex Sutra
W.G Sebald, Rings of Saturn
Sukhdev Sandhu, Night Haunts
Roni Horn, Still Water (the River Thames)
New website curated by Rachel Lichtenstein: The Centre for Place Writing

Studios are 4 week intensive courses. Reading material will be distributed before the course begins. There are no live chats so they are suitable for both UK & International students. 

For more information visit our Online Courses page.

Image credit:  Thor Alvis

About Caroline Bergvall View Profile

Caroline Bergvall is an award-winning poet, artist and performer. She works across languages, artforms and media. A strong exponent of interdisciplinary art practices and the development of writing methods adapted to contemporary modes, as well as multilingual identities and histories.  Her work is widely featured and translated. Her Alisoun Sings (2019) is the final volume of a trilogy exploring medieval and contemporary languages and source materials: Meddle English (2011) and Drift (2014). Her outdoor sunrise performance Ragadawn (2018), featuring a vocal composition by Gavin Bryars, and the video soundscape Sonoscura (created with many collaborators under lockdown 2020) explore ancient and minoritised languages in context.

A former director of the innovative, cross-arts writing program at Dartington College, Bergvall has also taught at Cardiff University and Bard College. She is, currently a visiting Professor at Kings College London.

‘The Poetry School has helped me to believe in myself. Although I only started writing poetry seriously in my eighties, I have felt warmly included in a community of poets.’

– Autumn 2020 survey response

Related Courses