Whale Song, Bloop, Bubble: Deep Sea Listening as Poetic Practice

Whale Song, Bloop, Bubble: Deep Sea Listening as Poetic Practice

Bring your ears to the water and take inspiration from the natural, and manmade, sounds of the deep.

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

In this workshop, we will torque the proposition that writing stems from deep listening to experiment with writing that stems from deep sea listening. The sea is a noisy place, filled with the sounds of marine lifeforms singing and calling out to each other, the creaks and fluxes of meteorological and seismic events. The sea conducts human sounds too, the polluting noise of shipping traffic and submarine detection that is devastating marine populations; the vast network of submarine cables lying on the ocean floor, enabling us to communicate with each other and access the internet. There are imperceptible sounds too, from the quantifiable choruses of microbes to the ghostly reverberations of history. Reading Kamau Braithwaite, Etel Adnan, Vahni Capildeo, and Craig Santos Perez, we will consider the ways in which these poets address migratory, murderous, geopolitical, and resuscitating journeys in their work, listening closely to how they listen, select, and amplify. We will listen to the sea too, through hydrophonic microphones, submarine cable maps, and our own memories, dreams, and imagined explorations. We will experiment with attuning ourselves to submarine music in words and non-verbal sounds, poetic forms, and audio/visual performance (live or page-based).

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 & 6 March, 10.30m – 1pm. 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: Nate Nessman

About Nisha Ramayya View Profile

Nisha Ramayya grew up in Glasgow and is currently based in London. Her debut collection States of the Body Produced by Love is published by Ignota Books (September 2019). She is a member of the ‘Race & Poetry & Poetics in the UK’ research group and a lecturer in Creative Writing at Queen Mary University of London.

'Nisha is extremely interesting to work with - she is knowledgeable, creative, inclusive, encouraging of experiment and widening of vision/perception. She is also an inspiring writer/performer.'

– Spring 2020 survey response

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