The Carer: Poetry of Private & Public Spaces

The Carer: Poetry of Private & Public Spaces

How can we reliably provide voices to care-givers and the cared-for?

‘Caring is a near universal experience and part of what makes us human. Yet too often the experience of caring is hidden away, behind closed doors, a private issue.’
– Heléna Herklots, Former chief executive of Carers UK

The narrative of caring is often considered a private matter between the carer and the person who is cared for. How can poetry shape the carer’s internal and external view of personal and public spaces? How do we explore the process of concealment and discovery for the carer? The workshop will focus on how poetry is constructed in caregiving relationships within public and private spaces. We will explore how the body is bound up in the topography of the poem. The workshop will provide a space for the carer to express emotional and physical states of being in private spaces. Poems will emerge as an engagement with the body and how language is produced through the body. During the day, we will have the opportunity to experiment with varied forms of poetic strategies. We will focus on the works of Philip Gross, Cheryl Moskowitz, Romalyn Ante and others. How does the poet and carer acknowledge a personal responsibility to include a reliable voice of the person who is cared for? The workshop draws attention to the ethical dilemma of speaking for individuals who cannot speak for themselves. We will look at poetry created within care settings: Killick’s You Are Words and The Hard Word Box by Sarah Hesketh. Killick’s and Hesketh’s work draw attention to the ethical dilemma of speaking for individuals who cannot speak for themselves. The issue of ownership will be discussed in this workshop. Over the course of the day, you will generate a sequence of poems.

Saturday 29 June, 10.30am – 4.30pm.

All classes will be in our offices at 1 Dock Offices, Surrey Quays Road, Canada Water, SE16 2XU. The venue is a 2-minute walk from Canada Water Station. Take the ‘Lower Road’ exit from the station onto Surrey Quays Road, then walk straight ahead, crossing over Deal Porters Way, and the Dock Offices come up on the left. The door for the school is at the far end of the building.

More information about how all our face-to-face courses work can be found on the Face-to-Face courses page.

Image credit: ()ptimist

About Denise Saul View Profile

Denise Saul is a writer, poet and PhD researcher at University of Roehampton whose research focuses on speech disability and the female carer’s narrative in contemporary poetry. Her White Narcissi (Flipped Eye Publishing) was Poetry Book Society Pamphlet Choice and House of Blue (Rack Press) was PBS Pamphlet Recommendation. She is a Geoffrey Dearmer Prize winner. Denise is the founder of Silent Room: A Journey of Language, a collaborative video poem project, funded by Arts Council England.

‘I tick over needing to write and sharing in this process with others is priceless.’

– Autumn 2018 survey response

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