Session 1: Speaking the Unspeakable: Theories and Concepts
Key ideas from two major literary works: Hélène Cixous's Three Steps on the Ladder of Writing and Carolyn Forché's Against Forgetting: Twentieth-century Poetry of Witness. What does it mean to be a poet of witness? How does one begin to bear witness? What is the link between writing and living?
Session 2: The Lyric I or Lyric Eye?
The power of lyric poems in bearing witness to events that traverse and merge the personal and the political. Featuring poems by contemporary poets including Adrienne Rich, Sharon Olds, Liz Berry, Danez Smith and Terrance Hayes.
Session 3: Beyond the Lyric I
Apart from the lyric I, what other poetic modes enable us to explore the realm of the social, that which links the personal and political? Reading poems by Eavan Boland, Mahmoud Darwish, Kei Miller, Vahni Capildeo, Claudia Rankine and others.
Session 4: Towards Your Own Poetics of Witness
Focus on the generation of new work through a series of writing exercises. Bring in your own thematic and poetic concerns, and ample time will be given for subsequent sharing/feedback.
Session 5: Excavations in the Archives
Visit the National Poetry Library and work with found texts in order to experiment with collage, erasures and marginalia. Featuring poems by Emily Berry, Maggie Nelson, Solmaz Sharif and Richard Scott.
Session 6: Future Directions
Brainstorm and share resources that supports your ongoing development as a writer (ranging from residencies to publication). Reading and Q&A with a special guest poet.
For ages 18+
This course takes place from 7pm – 9pm on the following dates:
Tue 23 Apr: Foyle Pavilion, Level 3, Blue Side, Royal Festival Hall
Tue 7 May: Foyle Pavilion, Level 3, Blue Side, Royal Festival Hall
Tue 21 May: Sunley Pavilion, Level 3, Green Side, Royal Festival Hall
Tue 4 Jun: Sunley Pavilion, Level 3, Green Side, Royal Festival Hall
Tue 18 Jun: Foyle Pavilion, Level 3, Blue Side, Royal Festival Hall
Tue 2 Jul: Foyle Pavilion, Level 3, Blue Side, Royal Festival Hall
All six sessions are included in this ticket. We strongly recommend that participants make sure they are available for all six sessions of the course, but at a minimum attend four.
By purchasing a ticket you agree to be contacted by Southbank Centre on email in relation to this course.
Please bring a notebook and something to write with.
Please note, the deadline for bursary applications has passed.