‘The Doors of Perception’: Pop Culture & Poetry (International)

‘The Doors of Perception’: Pop Culture & Poetry (International)

Explore new approaches in your writing through the lens of pop culture!

We are always looking for ways to connect to others, and to ourselves. For many, that’s through story, or writing. What connects us to story is our connection to the self. Everything is layered in story: history, myth, poetry, television, movies, and theatre. Pop culture has long been a source of inspiration for poets – it’s a means of opening a door into a room you weren’t previously able to access; a space where you can align yourself with another’s story. That’s where everything begins. What better way to connect with your readers, than taking inspiration from the popular culture surrounding us? 

Whether it’s epic fantasies like Game of Thrones, explosive character dramas from the DC or Marvel universes, or the carefully-constructed personae of pop stars like Rihanna and Beyonce, popular culture is a means to see ourselves reflected and refracted, and can inspire new ways of expressing and structuring our personal stories. This course will use pop culture to inspire your poems and your thinking, opening doors to new spaces, places, and approaches you may not have been able to see your way into before. 

In this course, we’ll sidestep false dichotomies of “high” and “low” art to see that poems and pop culture are frequently inspired by the same everyday sources, while timeless themes, characters, relationships, visual languages, and world building techniques appear in both artforms. We’ll read from poets including Ada Limon, Kathleen Ossip, Tiana Clark, Paul Guest, Ocean Vuong, Eve Ewing, Dorianne Laux, Billy Collins, Rachel Eliza Griffiths, Tracy K. Smith, Hanif Abdurraqib, Khadijah Queen, and Diane Seuss. Come join us for an exploration of pop culture to lift you into brighter days! 

5 fortnightly sessions over 10 weeks. No live chats. Suitable for UK & International students.

More information about how all our online courses work can be found on the Online Courses page.

Image Credit:Dakota Corbin

About Leah Umansky View Profile

Leah Umansky is the author of two full length collections, The Barbarous Century (2018), and Domestic Uncertainties (2013), among others. She earned her MFA in Poetry at Sarah Lawrence College and is the curator and host of The COUPLET Reading Series in NYC. Her poems have appeared or are forthcoming in such places as POETRY, Guernica, Bennington Review, The Academy of American Poets’ Poem-A-Day, Poetry International, The New York Times, Rhino, Pleiades, and the anthologies, The Eloquent Poem (Persea Books) and Misrepresented Peoples (NYQ Books). She is #teamstark, #teamelliot, & #teambernard and can be found at @Lady_bronte and www.leahumansky.com. 

‘I am about to publish my second collection and this and my first collection owe a huge amount to the tutoring and peer support I have experienced through the poetry school.’

– Summer 2020 survey response

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