Workshops will be programmed and added below this autumn, so keep your eyes peeled, as we’ll add them as soon as they’ve been finalised.
Instead of asking ‘Who am I?’, a more fruitful question might be ‘Where am I?’ Looking beyond ourselves can bring us closer to what really matters. How do we begin to notice the details of places that touch us in ways we can’t always understand and learn to see how they connect with all the different facets of where we find ourselves? In this workshop we’ll attune to the ecological and explore approaching Place as relationship and ongoing process, rather than as static external object.
Linda France: was born in Wallsend, Newcastle upon Tyne, and now lives near Hadrian’s Wall in Northumberland. Her ten full-length poetry collections include: The Toast of the Kit-Cat Club (Bloodaxe 2005), a biography in verse of the 18th century traveller and writer Lady Mary Wortley Montagu; book of days, a year renga, with ceramic fragments by Sue Dunne (Smokestack 2009); Reading the Flowers (Arc 2016), longlisted for the inaugural Laurel Prize; The Knucklebone Floor (Smokestack 2022), Winner of the 2022 Laurel Prize, and Startling (New Writing North & Faber 2022).
In Brigit Pegeen Kelly’s poem “Song”, a goat’s head is hacked off by a group of boys and hung in a tree. Still, the goat’s head, as it decays on the edges of the town, sings a song that haunts the lives of the people. “Not a cruel song, no, no, not cruel at all. This song / Is sweet. It is sweet. The heart dies of this sweetness.” In this workshop, we will look at poems that mourn, remember, elegise, and haunt. When so much life is threatened around us, how can poetry respond? How can we make music of mourning, and can music help? Using poems by Brigit Pegeen Kelly, Ada Limón, Michael Longley and others, we will explore the idea of the eco-elegy, and write our own songs and poems.
Seán Hewitt’s debut collection of poetry, Tongues of Fire, was published by Jonathan Cape in 2020. It won The Laurel Prize in 2021, and was shortlisted for The Sunday Times Young Writer of the Year Award, the John Pollard Foundation International Poetry Prize, a Dalkey Literary Award. In 2020, he was chosen by The Sunday Times as one of their “30 under 30” artists in Ireland. His memoir, All Down Darkness Wide, was published in 2022. He is Poetry Critic for The Irish Times and teaches Modern British & Irish Literature at Trinity College Dublin.
Living in Time: Temporality and the Natural World
Tutor: Linda Gregerson
13:00 – 15:00 GMT
Saturday 18 March 2023
Eventbrite Zoom Workshop
Links coming soon
It is the premise of ecology in general and ecopoetics in particular, of course, that we live neither “in” nature or “with” nature but as an indissoluble part of nature. And yet, our distinctive capacities for doing harm, like our distinctive responsibility for stewardship, point to the profound paradox of “being human.” Nowhere do we experience this paradox more vividly than in the realm of time. For the most part, we experience time on a human scale: the heartbeat, the cycle of sleep and waking, our individually allotted time on earth. But what is our lifespan compared to that of the mayfly? Of the giant sequoia? What insights do we gain from such differentials of temporal scale? What terrors do we encounter when we contemplate such differentials? What sources of comfort or consolation? We’ll spend a significant portion of this workshop generating ideas for future poems and ecopoetical projects.
Linda Gregerson is the author of seven books of poetry, including Prodigal: New and Selected Poems (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2015) and most recently Canopy (Harper Collins/Ecco 2022). Her work has been recognized with awards from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, the Poetry Society of America, the Modern Poetry Association, the Guggenheim Foundation, and the National Endowment for the Arts. She is a Chancellor of the Academy of American Poets and a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.