This is Not an Elegy: Writing Grief

This is Not an Elegy: Writing Grief

Consider the shape and weight of loss as we explore the elegy.

If you cut out a rectangle of a perfectly blue sky, no clouds, no wind, no birds, frame it with a blue frame, place it faceup on the floor of an empty museum with an open atrium to the sky, that is grief.’ – from OBIT by Victoria Chang 

What is an elegy, and how has this poetic form evolved over time? Looking at a range of elegies – from the classics to contemporary poems and essays around the topic – participants will come up with their own elegiac poetics, and understand the intersections of elegy with an individual’s identity, gender, and personal beliefs.  

The course will offer a chance to exchange ideas on how poets evoke the abstract and the personal, and to write about loss or difficult emotions through prompts such as films, songs, myths, paintings, found materials, and language. Examples we will look at include poems by Lord Alfred Tennyson, Christopher Reid, Sean Hewitt, Rainer Maria Rilke, Czeslaw Milosz, Lucille Clifton, Victoria Chang, Anne Carson, Mona Arshi, Jorie Graham. 

5 fortnightly sessions over 10 weeks, starting 27 Sep 2022. Live Chats on fortnightly Tuesdays, 7–9 pm (GMT); first Live Chat: 11 Oct. 

To apply for a concessionary rate, please send relevant documentation showing your eligibility for one of our concessions to [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: Dylan nolte 

About Jennifer Wong View Profile

Jennifer Wong was born and grew up in Hong Kong. She studied English at Oxford and received an MA in Creative Writing at the University of East Anglia. She is the recipient of the Hong Kong Young Artist Award (Literary Arts) and has a creative writing PhD from Oxford Brookes University. Her poems have appeared in The Rialto, Magma Poetry, Oxford Poetry, World Literature Today, Stand, The North, Wildness, The Scores, Asian Cha, Voice & Verse, Prairie Schooner, and others. She has also published translations in Poetry Review, Modern Poetry in Translation and Pathlight. Her latest collection, 回家 Letters Home, was published by Nine Arches Press in 2020 and was named a Wild Card choice by Poetry Book Society. She is also the author of Goldfish (Chameleon Press 2013) and a pamphlet, Diary of a Miu Miu Salesgirl (Bitter Melon Poetry 2019). 

'The Poetry School is an inspiring community for developing one's poetry and connecting with like minded people. It changed my life - I wouldn't be without it.'

- Spring 2022 survey response

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