Skeleton Alphabet Studio

Skeleton Alphabet Studio

Put your poems on the anatomist's slab and sing the body electric

Taking our cues from Robert Burton’s The Anatomy of Melancholy and John Donne’s ‘I am a little world made cunningly / Of elements and an angelic sprite’, we shall be examining the history of dissection and human anatomy through poetry. From the hangman’s ballad to doctor poets and barber surgeons, our literary scalpel will dissect five key areas of physicality and presence asking questions relating to dead matter, preserved presence and shifting physical states. We will be engaging with material from American Civil War field surgeries to Derwent Wood’s ‘Tin Noses Shop’ of WWI, we will be ‘singing the body electric’ and examining poetic material as dissective tissue. This is a course for those interested in anatomies of poetry and dissection of physicality whilst preserving language and meaning. With a selective reading list, and a focus on five anatomical areas – such as the skin, heart, spleen and skeleton – we will presenting work and looking at poetry as if from the operating table of the old anatomy schools of Britain.

Studios are three 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: ‘Paris on Ponce & Le Maison Rouge’)

About MacGillivray View Profile

MacGillivray is the artist name of poet, performance artist and musician Kirsten Norrie who trained at Oxford University (BFA, MFA DPhil). She has taught at the universities of Cheltenham and Gloucester, Oxford and Edinburgh College of Art. In 2009 she was a Kluge Scholar at the Library of Congress and her work has appeared in publications such as Magma, the Quietus, the Poetry Review, the Wire Music Magazine and Art Monthly. Her first collection The Last Wolf of Scotland was published by Pighog Brighton/Los Angeles in 2013/17 and her second The Nine of Diamonds: Surroial Mordantless by Bloodaxe in 2016. MacGillivray has made eight albums, was shortlisted for PRS/Help Musicians Scottish Performer of the Year and contributed to two major independent film soundtracks, she has performed internationally in the US, Australia and the UK. The recipient of four Creative Scotland Awards, was artist in residence on Skye in 2014 and she has appeared on BBC Radio 3 as Edinburgh Festival Featured Artist 2015, The Verb and Late Junction. A forthcoming non-fiction publication Scottish Lost Boys will be published by Strange Attractor/MIT Spring 2018 and a third poetry collection The Gaelic Garden of the Dead will be published by Bloodaxe, Spring 2019.

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