Take a walk on the wild side to explore the extraordinary power that animals can bring into your poems.
*In line with current government advice, this course has now moved online and will take place via the video conferencing platform Zoom. All students will be sent an email invitation to the sessions, alongside any instructions and information necessary in advance.*
“I like the zoo”, so declares Louis MacNeice in his 1938 prose work Zoo. This course will celebrate and facilitate poems which come fluttering, roaring, snarling and crawling into our lives. From Ted Hughes to Alice Oswald, Gerard Manley Hopkins to John Clare, many of the best poems are written about interactions with animals. We will explore different approaches, from description to monologue, narrative to the surreal, as a way of getting the energy of animals into our writing. You will explore the craft of writing poems about wild animals and the extraordinary power they can bring into poems, but we will also consider domestic animals and the important roles they can have in our lives. Bristol, in sites like The Wild Place Project and its interesting urban wildlife, is a place with excellent access to the wild. The course’s second session (21st March) will take place at Bristol Zoo Gardens, giving us the opportunity to observe the animals at close quarters, to scribble in front of the lions, workshop with the penguins, read our drafts-in-progress to the flamingos. Through a range of workshop exercises and feedback on your writing, your aim is to write poems from which lions and tigers, dogs and foxes leap. New and experienced poets are welcome on this exciting course.
3 monthly sessions on Saturdays, 12–3pm, 22 February, 18 April, & 9 May.
Image credit: Derek Keats
About Jonathan Edwards View Profile
Jonathan Edwards‘s first collection of poems, My Family and Other Superheroes (Seren, 2014), received the Costa Poetry Award and the Wales Book of the Year People’s Choice Award. It was shortlisted for the Fenton Aldeburgh First Collection Prize. His second collection, Gen (Seren, 2018), also received the Wales Book of the Year People’s Choice Award, and his poem about Newport Bridge was shortlisted for the Forward Prize for Best Single Poem 2019. Jonathan has read his poems on BBC radio and television, recorded them for the Poetry Archive, and led workshops in schools, universities and prisons. He lives in Crosskeys, South Wales, and is editor of Poetry Wales.
‘I am much more confident with my poetry.’