The Urban Pastoral (Reading Course)

The Urban Pastoral (Reading Course)

Stroll the streets and contemplate nature’s role in the life of cities

Come field-tripping with Tamar Yoseloff and Tim Dooley, to explore how different poets occupy and reimagine urban space, as we walk into our built and natural environments. In this course we’ll move beyond psychogeography, and examine work by many different writers who made the city their subject, including Charles Baudelaire, Frank O’Hara, Roy Fisher and Hannah Sullivan, and will discuss the wanderings of the flâneurs, cartographers and storytellers who have written our habitat. Two of our sessions will take place offsite, to the river and the streets, and we’ll explore different ways of reading the city. Join us as we ramble through parks and gardens, consider the effects of architecture, prowl the nocturnal underworld, and discuss nostalgia, migration, seats of power, and the ways in which our environment shapes our lives, our art, and our poems.

Note: this is a reading course and, as such, there will be no in-class writing exercises or workshopping of your own poems, though there will be an opportunity to present ‘city poems’ inspired by the course in the final session.

10 weekly sessions on Tuesdays 6.45pm – 8.45pm.  30 April – 2 July.

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 copyright: PhoebeZu

About Tim Dooley and Tamar Yoseloff View Profile

Tim Dooley is a tutor for Poetry School and a visiting lecturer at the University of Westminster.  He was a teacher for many years – a head of department in two comprehensive schools and a senior tutor in a tertiary college. He has also taught poetry at Goldsmiths College and been an arts mentor for the Koestler Trust – as well as reviewing for the TLS and writing obituaries for the Times. From 2008 to 2017 he was reviews and features editor of Poetry London. He is co-editor (with Martha Kapos) of The Best of Poetry London (Carcanet, 2014). His first collection of poems, The Interrupted Dream, was published by Anvil in 1985. This was followed by the Smith/Doorstop–Poetry Business pamphlets The Secret Ministry (2001) and Tenderness (2004), and the collections Keeping Time (Salt, 2008) and Imagined Rooms (Salt, 2010). A retrospective collection, The Sound We Make Ourselves: Poems 1971-2016, was published by Eyewear in 2016. Tim’s most recent collection Weemoed (Eyewear, 2017) was a Poetry Book Society Recommendation.

Tamar Yoseloff has been a tutor at Poetry School since 1998, and was also the Programme Coordinator from 2000 to 2007. She has published five full collections, most recently The Formula for Night: New and Selected Poems (Seren, 2015). She is also the author of Formerly, a chapbook incorporating photographs by Vici MacDonald, published by Hercules Editions and shortlisted for the 2012 Ted Hughes Prize for New Work in Poetry. Tamar is interested in visual art, and has worked on collaborative editions with the artists Linda Karshan and Charlotte Harker, and has written poems in response to the work of other contemporary artists, including Alison Gill. Her blog, Invective Against Swans, explores the intersections between poetry and art: She also teaches on the Poetry School / Newcastle MA.

‘I am really learning every day from the Poetry School – every assignment, every tutor, every other student teaches me something new, small or profound. Joining the School is undoubtedly the best thing I ever did for my writing’

– Autumn 2018 survey response

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