Writing Dystopia / Building a Dystopian World

Writing Dystopia / Building a Dystopian World

Can poetry lead us out of dystopia and help to present the truth about our current times?

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

There is no doubt about it: the world is a strange place. When you flick through different TV channels to take in the news happening around the world, what kind of reality or struggles do you think about? What future do you think we are heading towards? Will we ever go back to this other reality before Trump, before Greta Thunberg, before the two metres of distance? What poems can grow in the cracks of reality, defend our beliefs, capture survival, as we confront fake news, the death of George Floyd, #MeToo, the pandemic diaries to the disappearances of the black rhino? 

We will look at the works by poets including Patricia Smith, Anthony Anaxagorou, Marilyn Chin, Roger Robinson, Karen Solie, Jon Stone, Fiona Benson, and Rishi Dastidar to see how they construct their dystopian narratives, play with forms and structures, watch films, flip through newspapers, as we construct poems that navigate between surreal living, awakenings, justice, and reality. 

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.

Saturday 10 & 31 October, 10.30am – 1pm.

More information about how all our face-to-face courses work can be found on the Face-to-Face courses page.

Image credit: Denys Nevozhai

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 Homewas 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 gives me the opportunity to develop and extend my poetry practice in an inclusive environment.’

– Summer 2019 survey response

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