top of page

Fri, 18 Aug

|

Online workshop

Summer of Sustainability - Poetry & Sustainability Workshop

Join OCA tutor Liz Cashdan for this workshop on sustaining our own practice and how we can use the features of reading and writing poetry to promote sustainability in the world today more generally.

Registration is closed
See other events
Summer of Sustainability - Poetry & Sustainability Workshop
Summer of Sustainability - Poetry & Sustainability Workshop

Time & Location

18 Aug 2023, 11:00 – 13:00

Online workshop

Guests

About the Event

Poetry and Sustainability

Join OCA tutor Liz Cashdan for this workshop on sustaining our own practice and how we can use the features of reading and writing poetry to promote sustainability in the world today more generally.

Our own practice

1. We will look at the different ways poets sustain their practice from ideas about keeping notebooks and journals to discovering what happens when you actually start writing.  We will look at the suggestions made by Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi the American psychologist who analysed what occurs when people write.

2. We  will analyse the word “flow” to see if it is a helpful concept when discussing the act of writing and look at the concepts of planning and exploring.    (https://www.oca.ac.uk/weareoca/creative-writing/flow-not-flow-risks-getting-carried-away/)

3. Also to be discussed will be some of the ideas of  Frank Smith from his book on writing, (Writing and the Writer.  Routledge 1983)  (https://www.oca.ac.uk/weareoca/creative-writing/point-reflective-commentary/)

Reading and Writing Poetry

The second area to be considered is how reading and writing poetry can help people become more thoughtful about climate change and sustainability.

There are two aspects here: 

1. The first deals with what is often called eco-poetry where poems actually refer to places, incidents and situations connected to the natural environment.  We shall look at some examples and try to decide how far readers might be affected by the subject matter and themes of these poems. This might take us back to Gerard Manley Hopkins’ poem about the felling of poplar trees (https://www.poetryfoundation.org/poems/44390/binsey-poplars) and some more recent poems.

2. Readers’ and writers’ responses to the world around them. Howard Nemerov, American poet, claimed that poetry is literature that evokes a concentrated imaginative awareness of experience or a specific emotional response through language chosen and arranged for its meaning, sound, and rhythm.  (https://www.britannica.com/art/poetry/Form-in-poetry). So it can affect us as readers and writers whatever the theme or subject matter.

Poetry’s origins are closely linked to storytelling and it was probably the earliest form of literature appearing in oral form historically before prose and before writing.  We might think of Greek poets like Homer, or the Anglo-Saxon composer of Beowulf.  Walter Benjamin, the twentieth century literary German critic, specifically pointed to the origins of storytelling as offering a way for people to mourn their losses through both telling and listening.

Research, based on Benjamin’s theories, carried out recently in the USA reported that asking business and management students to read and write poetry completely altered their ways of thinking and enabled them to take on board the wider issues of climate change which had previously been precluded by a narrow concentration on business and management issues. (https://esquerdadireitaesquerda.files.wordpress.com/2016/11/benjamin-illuminations.pdf)

We will read poems on a variety of topics and in differing styles, free verse and strict form, and try to estimate what reactions we have.  Then we will try writing our own poems and again estimate the effects of our choices in subject matter, theme and style.

Come along and try something new, open to all students across disciplines but places are limited.

This event has a group. You’re welcome to join the group once you register for the event.
1 update in the group

Share This Event

bottom of page