“There are still secrets to exhume”: Contemporary Gothic Poetry

“There are still secrets to exhume”: Contemporary Gothic Poetry

Unearth the uncanny, as we exhume the secrets of contemporary Gothic writing.

*  To ensure the safety of our tutors and students, this course will take place on video-conferencing platform, ZOOM *

‘What makes the contemporary Gothic contemporary is that the Freudian machinery is more than a tool for discussing narrative; it is in large part, the subject matter of the narrative itself’ – Steven Bruhm  

This course explores a diverse selection of poetry including work from Emily Berry, Melissa Lee-Houghton, Tracy K. Smith, Bobby Parker, and Cynthia Cruz, that contain gothic themes and conventions. The sessions will address key gothic concepts such as the Uncanny and the Abject; and will draw on tropes associated with the gothic such as hauntings and transgression, in a contemporary context. Discussions and close readings will be used as a springboard for the participant’s own creative writing. 

In these two sessions, participants will be given visual, written, and musical prompts to encourage the use of the gothic in their own poetry. They will have the opportunity to share their own gothic-inspired poems in a supportive, friendly environment. Writing produced during this course can be used a part of a themed series or as part of a pamphlet/collection. 

The course will have 2 parts, the first being a Zoom session, filled with challenging reading, writing, and group discussions on the topic, after which you’ll be set various writing prompts and exercises to complete at home, before reconvening for a Zoom-based workshop in part 2 to discuss and develop your new poems.

Two sessions on Saturdays: 20 February & 27 February, 2 – 4pm. The course will take place using the video conferencing platform, Zoom.

More information about how all our face-to-face courses work can be found on the Face-to-Face courses page.

Image Credit: Nighthawk Shoots

About Nisha Bhakoo View Profile

Nisha Bhakoo has had three poetry collections published You found a beating heart (The Onslaught Press, 2016), Black & White Dream (Broken Sleep Books, 2018) and Spectral Forest (The Onslaught Press, 2020). She had a solo exhibition “I, Amir” at Rich Mix, London in 2015, on the Freudian concept of the Uncanny, where she showcased her own poems and short film. She edited Contemporary Gothic Verse for The Emma Press in 2019. She is currently teaching a course on Gothic Writing at Potsdam University, Germany. 

'The Poetry School is pure joy. When lockdown happened and I was getting used to placed shutting, I was gutted to hear that the Poetry School had to close it's doors. It's a sanctuary.'

– Spring 2020 survey response

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