A moving body, the veins of nature, the flow of life - a river runs through all of us
‘It’s brother and sister to me, and aunts, and company, and food and drink, and (naturally) washing. It’s my world, and I don’t want any other. What it hasn’t got is not worth having, and what it doesn’t know is not worth knowing.’ – Ratty, The Wind in the Willows
A river runs through all our lives, as physical facts of a landscape, but also as part of our collective memories. Rivers have shaped and engaged cultures everywhere in the world, and been profoundly intrinsic to the development of civilisation. Rivers also inhabit our mythologies and occupy our dreams (rivers now lost, rivers newly re-discovered, rivers separated, and re-incorporated). Enduringly allegorical, rivers represent time passing, power, boundaries, freedom, fertility, crossings, a moving body, the veins of nature, the flow of life, our changing relationship with nature. We have been obsessed with finding their legendary sources and trekking their deepest reaches in treacherous climes of extreme heat or cold. On this Studio we will cross over into the river realm, reading some well-known (and some unusual) poems to inspire our own river writings, including work by Alice Oswald, Emily Dickinson, Marianne Burton, Stevie Smith, John Burnside, WS Merwin, H D, Wallace Stevens, George Seferis, Sean O’Brien, Mark Strand, Philip Gross, Jane Clarke, Sharon Olds, Pascale Petit, Lorna Goodison and more. Whether your interest in rivers is more Three Men in a Boat, Huckleberry Finn, Dart, or Heart of Darkness, you’ll find something to get your ideas rushing in this three week online Studio.
Studios are three week intensive courses. Reading material will be distributed before the course begins. There are no live chats so they are suitable for both UK & International students.
For more information visit our Online Courses page.
(Image credit: ‘Wade Brooks’)
About Heidi Williamson View Profile
Heidi Williamson is a poetry surgeon for The Poetry Society and mentors poets by Skype worldwide for The Writing Coach and Poetry School. She studied poetry and prose at the UEA, and reads and delivers workshops regularly throughout the UK. Her first collection Electric Shadow (Bloodaxe, 2011) was a Poetry Book Society Recommendation and shortlisted for the Seamus Heaney Centre Prize for Poetry. The Print Museum (Bloodaxe, 2016) won the East Anglian Book Award for Poetry 2016. www.heidiwilliamsonpoet.com
‘I am a poet with a disabling health condition and coming to the Poetry School has helped me grab back my identity (which illnesses can try to steal away) and prioritise what is meaningful in my life. It has brought learning, confidence, courage and friendship.’