Sources of Poetic Language: Imagination, Wonder, & the Everyday

Sources of Poetic Language: Imagination, Wonder, & the Everyday

Join us to explore language from all areas of human life as sources for innovative poetry.

Poets have the freedom to explore language in a totally unique way – to break rules and push beyond traditional linguistic bounds and contexts – where they can reveal, illuminate, invent, discover, re-imagine, describe, and, ultimately, inspire. Their fodder is figurative language where the real meets the imagined, and language is transformed.  

The source of figurative language is the world around us and the terms of comparison we’ll explore on this course will come from all areas of human occupations, and preoccupations. We’ll touch on the language of science, politics, history, medicine, art, and more; because poetry takes a holistic view of ‘the person’, it provides the richest expressions of the complexity of the human experience, as well as keeping language vibrant. 

This ten-week workshop brings together a variety of poems from around the world that will be discussed in terms of their distinct expressions of wonder, their flights of imagination, and their engagements with our everyday lives. We will discuss the statements poets make – figurative, factual, normative, and descriptive. Following a close reading of these example poems, participants will complete a series of writing exercises designed to inspire a rich and variegated poetic language. Participants’ poems will be workshopped at every session. 

10 weekly Zoom sessions on Tuesdays, 7–9pm, starts 17 May 2022. To apply for a concession rate, please send relevant documentation showing your eligibility for one of our concessions to [email protected] Conditions of eligibility are detailed here. More information about how our Video Courses work can be found on the Video Courses page. If you have any questions or wish to be added to the waiting list of a sold-out course, please email [email protected]. 

Image credit: Darwin Vegher 

About Carmen Bugan View Profile

Carmen Bugan, George Orwell Prize Fellow, has published four collections of poems, most recently Lilies from America: New and Selected Poems (PBS Special Commendation), a memoir, Burying the Typewriter (BBC Radio 4 Book of the Week), and a monograph, Seamus Heaney and East European Poetry in Translation: Poetics of Exile. Her book of essays, Poetry and the Language of Oppression, was published by Oxford University Press in March 2021. She was a guest on current affairs and history programmes on the BBC, NPR, ABC, and The Monocle. A recipient of an Arts Council Grant, she was a Creative Arts Fellow in Literature at Wolfson College, Oxford University, and the Helen DeRoy Professor in Honors at the University of Michigan. She has a doctorate in English literature from Balliol College, Oxford.

'I've found Poetry School courses have taken me to new places and in new directions, and enabled me to meet poets from around the world whose perspectives have helped me see things from fascinating and exciting angles.'

- Summer 2021 Survey Response

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