BECOMING: Transreading Interspecies Empathy & Innovative Poetics

BECOMING: Transreading Interspecies Empathy & Innovative Poetics

Get inspired by nonhuman ways of Being to create innovative, more-than human poetic work.

BECOMING is a creative enquiry into the relationship of human and nonhuman organisms that blends techniques borrowed from poetry, sound art, fine art, and performance. What happens when we combine human language with fungal, plant, insect, bird, and animal methods of communication? This course aims to develop extra-human and extra-linguistic poetries that embrace nonhuman strategies, that identify nonhuman presence and influence within human language, in order to explore what it means to speak with, rather than merely on behalf of, other life forms.

This course uses the BECOMING radio series (Soundart FM) as its focus, setting a series of challenges based on the poetic techniques presented in each episode for poets to dissect, discuss, emulate, and expand. We will look at translation, transmutation, and transformation in the work of angela rawlings, Stephen Emmerson, Helen Moore, John Cage, and Merlin Sheldrake for Becoming Fungus. Connectivity & relation will be the focus of Becoming Plant, taking in work by Elizabeth-Jane Burnett, Timothy Morton, Harriet Tarlo, and Erin Robinsong. Becoming Insect encourages a love of the unfamiliar, exploring gender and plague in work by Linus Slug, Fiona Benson, Lily Hunter Green, and Helen Frosi. Becoming Bird investigates recording/scoring/mapping, extinction, race, mimicry, and flocking in the work of J. Drew Lanham, Sally Ann McIntyre, Hanna Tuulikki, Jonathan Skinner, and Maggie O’Sullivan. Becoming Animal, finally, brings us closer to the human, as we explore writing with skin, fur, and scales, on earth and in water, in the work of Scott Thurston, Susan Richardson, Shin Yu Pai, and Oana Avasilichioaei.

What do the formal choices of a work communicate about the politics of the human/nonhuman relationship? What are the sonic, visual, and linguistic strategies offered by each artist? How might you emulate, expand, translate or write back to these works?  

 5 fortnightly sessions over 10 weeks. No live chats. Suitable for UK & International students.  

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: Jeremy Bishop

About Camilla Nelson View Profile

Camilla Nelson is founding editor of Singing Apple Press, a small independent press that produces hand-crafted, limited edition poem-prints, books and other objects. Her work explores the materiality of language, particularly in relation to the other-than-human, in page-based poetry, soundwork, installation and performance. Camilla’s poetry collections include Apples & Other Languages (Knives Forks and Spoons, 2017), A Yarn Er Narrative (Contraband Books, 2019) and EPIC (Guillemot Press, 2021). She has a PhD in Performance Writingfrom Falmouth University/Dartington College of Arts (2012) 

It has been a truly enriching and therapeutic experience to reconnect with my creative side within a nourishing educational environment. I feel that a special community evolved within our class and that we will continue to support each other’s poetic efforts and to exchange ideas and information.

- Summer 2021 Survey

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