The Zoo of the New: Writing Childhood and Family (Online International Course)

The Zoo of the New: Writing Childhood and Family (Online International Course)

The poems and prompts on this course will inspire you to revisit your child-artist and recall moments that will catalyse future creative expression

Philip Larkin opens his poem, ‘This Be The Verse,’ with the arresting line, ‘They fuck you up, your mum and dad.’ For most of us our childhood and family experiences, positive and negative, inform who we are as poets and artists, often unconsciously. However, by intentionally accessing childhood experience and re-imagining familial dynamics from the perspective and distance of adulthood we can begin to uncover new ways of writing and of looking at our work. In this course, we will read a wide range of poems by writers who explore the influence early happenings can have on our lives, and how this approach, in turn, can help us create new poems that resonate in ways we did not anticipate. The poems and prompts on this course will inspire you to revisit your child-artist and recall moments that will catalyse future creative expression. It is not an easy journey – be warned, there will be laughter and tears! As Tolstoy famously wrote, ‘All happy families are alike; each unhappy family is unhappy in its own way.’ But rest assured you will come away from the course with a greater appreciation of your artistic development, a deeper understanding of your childhood self, and a zoo of new poems.

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

More information about how all our online courses work can be found on the Online Courses page.

About Victoria Kennefick Profile photo of Victoria Kennefick View Profile

Victoria Kennefick’s pamphlet, White Whale (Southword Editions, 2015) won the Munster Literature Fool for Poetry Chapbook Competition and the Saboteur Award for Best Poetry Pamphlet in 2015. A Fulbright Scholar, she completed a PhD in American Literature from University College Cork in 2009. Her work has been published in Poetry Magazine, Poetry News, Poetry Ireland Review, New Irish Writing in The Irish Times, Prelude, The Stinging Fly, and elsewhere. She is a recent recipient of a Next Generation Artist Bursary Award 2016 from the Irish Arts Council.

I completed three terms at the poetry school and quite frankly feel privileged. I have learned so much and want to learn more. The tutors were expert and intellectually generous. I count myself as a lucky person to have had this experience.

- Summer 2016 survey response.

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