‘The earthly runs to a stop…’: Endings as Practice & Subject

‘The earthly runs to a stop…’: Endings as Practice & Subject

Consider ‘endings’ in all their forms – from the end of the line to the end of time.

‘It is one of the peculiarities of the imagination that it is always at the end of an era. What happens is that it is always attaching itself to a new reality, and adhering to it. It is not that there is a new imagination but that there is a new reality.’ – Wallace Stevens 

In this five-session interactive course, we’ll begin to consider endings, moving from the ends of lines to the many endings in our own lives: of relationships, of journeys – and perhaps even of life on Earth.  

Starting with the very smallest endings poets work with, we’ll first explore the art of the line break – when to let it flow, and when to pull the reader up short. Next, we’ll zoom out to workshop different ways of ending poems, questioning when to wrap things up neatly, when to leave poems open, and how to make endings into new beginnings. Then, we’ll zoom out even further and look at the valedictory poems of collections, thinking about where to leave the reader when they turn the last page.  

In session four, we’ll switch gears and begin to think about endings thematically, reading and writing poems about the ends of lives, relationships, and even epochs. Finally, we’ll turn our theory and practice towards the apocalyptic and the visionary, wrangling with the biggest question of our times – the end of life on Earth.

5 fortnightly sessions over 10 weeks, starting 4 Oct 2023. Live Chats on fortnightly Wednesdays, 7–9 pm (GMT); first Live Chat: 18 Oct 2023.

To apply for a concessionary rate, please send relevant documentation showing your eligibility for one of our concessions to administ[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: Namroud Gorguis

About Ali Lewis View Profile

Ali Lewis is a writer, editor, and researcher. His pamphlet, Hotel, is out now from Verve, and his debut collection, Absence, will be published in spring 2024. 

He received an Eric Gregory Award in 2018, and his poems and short stories have appeared in journals including The Times Literary Supplement, The New Statesman, The London Magazine, and Poetry Review, as well as in Poetry London, where he was associate editor. He frequently collaborates with musicians and settings of his work have been performed at Wigmore Hall and the Southbank Centre, as well as on Radio Three and France Musique. He is an AHRC-funded doctoral candidate at Durham University. 

'I have been introduced to the writing of poets I may never have otherwise come across, both in terms of the study materials and my fellow poetry students. It has been life changing on a really intrinsic level. I have met and formed friendships with poets across the world and across generations - hugely enriching!'

– Spring 2023 survey response

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