The Art of Desire Studio, or “I want I want I want!” (Autumn 2021)

The Art of Desire Studio, or “I want I want I want!” (Autumn 2021)

‘I want it all. I want it all. And I want it now’. Delve into desire with Rachel Long.

I want this Studio course to have it all (the fact I want two titles, or that I am torn between them, probably says something about my relationship to desire – want, impulse, indecision, fancy). I want for us to ‘meet in expensive beige raincoats, on a pea-soupy night. Like a detective movie’. I want for us to begin our 4-week affair by reading some great meet-cutes of literature, like the one above, from Lorrie Moore’s short story, ‘Self-Help’.  

Over this 4-week Studio, through a range of online assignments, we’ll explore the objects and mechanics of desire, learning how to write break-up poems that don’t sound like screaming down the phone and love poems that will never again settle for sentimentality or cliché. If the poem requires rage, then we’ll make it rage with, rather than against, you. We’ll delve into the quirks, kinks, and nuances of our own desires and ask how we might make our readers also experience the attractions, thirsts, and loves inspiring these poems.  

To learn how to do this we’ll look to the great contemporary romantics: Kim Addonizio, Caroline Bird, Natalie Diaz, Marie Howe, Kei Miller, and Lucia Perillo. How do they manage to write about love, sex and desire without making the reader want to reach for the sick bag? How can we too learn the art of writing about a relationship – past, present or future (!) in a way that feels honest, fresh, surprising. We’ll write our own poems inspired by the head and heart of theirs. By the end of the course, I want you to have a clutch of poems that want things of their own, things that perhaps you did not expect or imagine. 

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. 

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.

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: Charles Deluvio

About Rachel Long View Profile

Rachel Long is a poet & the founder of Octavia – Poetry Collective for Womxn of Colour. Octavia was founded in response to the lack of inclusivity & representation in poetry & the academy. Rachel’s work has featured most recently in Filigree: An Anthology of Contemporary Black British Poetry, and Mal – Journal of Sexuality And Erotics (No.4, ‘Real Girls’). She is the co-translator of O Martelo/The Hammer by Brazilian poet & activist, Adelaide Ivanova. She is co-tutor on the Barbican Young Poets programme, & Poetry Fellow of University of Hertfordshire. Her debut collection My Darling from the Lions was published by Picador in 2020 and shortlisted for the Forward Prize for Best First Collection. 

‘Using one of the prompts Rachel Long gave me, I ended up writing a long form lyric poem that was shocking in so much as I had no idea that’s how I was feeling nor that I was capable of writing it. Or sharing it. It was an an exploration of my grief and trauma that I had needed to write for many years. It is now on its way to becoming a book length piece.'

– Spring 2021 survey response

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