The Strange Stranger: Animal Poetics

The Strange Stranger: Animal Poetics

Cultivate creaturely thinking and fathom the human-animal experience

In writing about animals, Timothy Morton coins the new term ‘the strange stranger’ to emphasise the fact that ‘we can never absolutely figure them out’. Though science continues to provide us with insight into the communication and behaviour of species, much of the realm of the animal remains a mystery. Taking inspiration from Morton’s thinking, this one-day workshop explores poetic approaches to the animal that range from cute and cartoonish depictions to attempts to articulate a creaturely otherness. Looking at the work of Les Murray, Vahni Capildeo, Jen Hadfield and Don McKay amongst others, we’ll read about how contemporary poets have engaged with animal experience and perspective. We’ll consider the question of anthropomorphism and discuss both the productive value and ethical dilemma it poses. Over the course of the day, we’ll experiment with exercises that give voice to creatures and investigate how far our human language can hope to represent the nonhuman.

Saturday 6 July, 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: Biodiversity Heritage Library

About Isabel Galleymore View Profile

Isabel Galleymore’s first collection, Significant Other, is forthcoming from Carcanet (Spring 2019). Her poems have featured in magazines such as Poetry, Poetry London and the London Review of Books and in her debut pamphlet Dazzle Ship (Worple Press, 2014). In 2016, she was a poet-in-residence at the Tambopata Research Centre in the Amazon rainforest. In 2017, Isabel received an Eric Gregory Award. She lectures at the University of Birmingham.

‘Poetry School offers excellent value and high quality writing and sharing oportunities. I felt as if I’d received a personally tailored service and am looking forward to the next courses.’

– Autumn 2018 survey response

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