The Poetry of Water

The Poetry of Water

Wade through water’s cultural and environmental significance, as we dive into sea, coast, river, and pond in your poetry.

Water is a powerful force in our world, shaping the landscape and sustaining life. This course will explore the cultural and environmental significance of water from the way it shapes our ecosystems to the ways it impacts our understanding of the wider world.  

We will explore the poetry of water, sea, coast, river, and pond as an edge-land and place of migration, longing, hope, and desire. This will involve responses to the nature and condition of rivers, streams, from source to sea and coastal waters, as well as the anthropology and language associated with watercourses. 

Students will develop an understanding of the place of the river and water within English Poetry, environmental concerns, and activism, as well as its connection to deep ecology and disruptive poetics. They will become conversant with poets as diverse as Alan Baker, Caroline Bergvall, William Blake, Tom Chivers, Michael Drayton, Allen Fisher, Thomas Hardy, Lesley Harrison, Geraldine Monk, Alice Oswald, Lesley Saunders, Ian Seed, George Seferis, Zoe Skoulding, Harriet Tarlo, R.S. Thomas, and Carol Watts.

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

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: Tim Zänkert

About David Caddy View Profile

David Caddy is a writer, critic, editor, and poetry mentor. He has published books of poetry, essays, and travel writing. He has edited the independent international literary journal, Tears in the Fence since 1984. His most recent book is Interiors and Other Poems (Shearsman Books, 2023) and new collection, Pond Life, is forthcoming in 2024.  

Previous books include The Bunny Poems (Shearsman Books), So Here We Are: Essays on English Poetry (Shearsman Books) and Cycling After Thomas and the English (Spout Hill Press). He was the co-author of London: City of Words (Blue Island) with Westrow Cooper, and has worked as a literary and editorial advisor for various organisations. 

He leads an online poetry workshop, a mentoring, and critical service, teaches writing at Bryanston School, and has directed the annual Tears in the Festival since 2011. From 1985 to 2001 he organised the East Street Poets, the UK’s largest rural poetry group, presenting poetry readings, workshops, residential writing weekends, educational visits, and the annual Wessex Poetry Festival. 

‘The course was brilliant as usual. I feel that I have learned not only from the reading material and David's feedback, but also from the increadible poems shared by the other members of the group. David was a fantastic tutor. He was kind and thoughtful in his feedback and encouraged discussions among group members.’

– Spring 2023 School Survey

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