‘That change in the texture of my attention’: Transreading Kathleen Jamie

‘That change in the texture of my attention’: Transreading Kathleen Jamie

Let’s bring to the surface ‘the mutability of earthly existence'.

‘I think of my essays as expanded poems,’ says Kathleen Jamie, poet, essayist, Scotland’s Makar. Suspicious of ‘stories,’ she uses comfortable lengths of her essays to consider ‘wee narratives’. Taking cues from Jamie’s ‘writing at the confluence of nature, culture and travel,’ we will stop, listen, and look in order to tune in. And to ask questions. As ‘language is our way of being in the world’, we will read essays chosen from Jamie’s trilogy – Findings (2005), Sightlines (2012), and Surfacing (2019) – to think about our own hearing and noticing, about our own textures of attention. We will also return to selected Jamie’s poems to see how they ‘can get you into the quick of things’.

Our transreading and co-thinking will find expression in drafts of poems, brief lyric essays, micro-memoirs, flash nonfiction, postcard fiction, hybrid short forms combining text and image, poetry films. We will ask: ‘Are you making this up?’ and ‘What was it like?’. Between errands that fill our days we will have ‘a damn good look’ at ‘nature’ within us and around us. We will consider being attentive as a form of activism. ‘Keep looking. Keep looking, even when there’s nothing much to see. That way your eye learns what’s common, so when the uncommon appears, your eye will tell you’.

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: Cary Bates

About Elżbieta Wójcik-Leese View Profile

Elżbieta Wójcik-Leese co-curates ‘Transreading’ courses on translocal and hybrid poetries for the Poetry School in London. She writes with/in English, Polish, and Danish. Her multilingual texts have appeared, among others, in Wretched Strangers: Borders, Movement, Homes (2018), Other Countries: Contemporary Poets Rewiring History (2014), Metropoetica. Poetry and Urban Space: Women Writing Cities (2013) and in such journals as Cordite Poetry Review, Envoi, Island Review, Long Poem Magazine, Modern Poetry in Translation, Poetry Salzburg Review, Projectionist’s Playground, Shearsman and Tears in the Fence. Her English translations of contemporary Polish poetry have featured in various anthologies, journals and on the London Underground; they can be read at www.versopolis-poetry.com. 

Her selection from Marcin Świetlicki, Night Truck Driver (Zephyr Press, 2020), finalist for the Big Other Book Award for Translation, was longlisted for the 2021 PEN Award for Poetry in Translation. Nothing More (Arc, 2013), which samples Krystyna Miłobędzka, was shortlisted for the 2015 Popescu European Poetry Translation Prize. Marzanna Kielar’s poetry is sampled in Salt Monody (Zephyr Press, 2006). She co-edited Carnivorous Boy Carnivorous Bird: Poetry from Poland (Zephyr Press, 2004) and guest-edited Polish issues of Poetry Wales and Modern Poetry in Translation 

She was a co-editor of the peer-reviewed literary translation journal Przekładaniec and a contributing editor at Poetry WalesCognitive Poetic Readings in Elizabeth Bishop: Portrait of a Mind Thinking (2010) is based on her research as a Fulbright scholar at the Elizabeth Bishop archives. She has collaborated with the British Council, European Literature Network, Literature Across Frontiers, Polish Cultural Institute, and Scottish Poetry Library. She works at the Centre for Internationalisation and Parallel Language Use, University of Copenhagen. Her micro-blog about geographic and imaginary Norths, poetry, art, translation and translanguaging can be read at www.facebook.com/elzbieta.wojcikleese. She documents the Northern liminal in photos, cyanotype, ink, stitch, artists’ books and words on Instagram: @elzbietawojcikleese. 

'As a student of the Poetry School I felt to be part of a like minded group. It enabled me to gage the standard of my own writing, and I believe my ability to write poetry has improved exponentially.'

- Summer 2021 Survey

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