Queer Storytelling: writing as a radical act

Course Dates: 16/06/24
Time: 10:30 - 16:30
Location: Keeley Street
This one day short course will explore the writing of two contemporary queer writers, both of whom use innovative form to tell unique stories of lesbian and trans experience. We'll look at the exhilarating, T.S Eliot Prize winning, C+nto and Othered Poems (2021) by Joelle Taylor and Variations (2022).
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Queer Storytelling: writing as a radical act
  • Course Code: HLT337
  • Dates: 16/06/24 - 16/06/24
  • Time: 10:30 - 16:30
  • Taught: Sun, Daytime
  • Duration: 1 session
  • Location: Keeley Street
  • Tutor: Megan Beech

Course Code: HLT337

Sun, day, 16 Jun - 16 Jun '24

Duration: 1 session

Please note: We offer a wide variety of financial support to make courses affordable. Just visit our online Help Centre for more information on a range of topics including fees, online learning and FAQs.

What is the course about?

The past few years have seen a glut of compelling and bold new writing by queer authors. This course focuses on two of the most dynamic and thrilling voices in literature of recent years, Joelle Taylor and Juliet Jacques. Focusing on C+nto and Othered Poems and Variations, this short course will offer an introduction to two remarkable works of literature that use form, experimentations with voice, and powerful political narratives to tell vital stories of gay, lesbian, bisexual, and trans lived experience in Britain across many centuries. We will look closely at what makes the worlds these authors have created so vivid and important to the broader community. We will think about how the butch lesbian culture of 80s/90s London is explored in the form of poetry and performance in Joelle Taylor’s work. We’ll also look at key short stories from Variations by trans author Juliet Jacques, analysing how she manages to offer lively re-imaginings of the queer archive through a blend of history, fiction, and lyrical prose.

What will we cover?

This course will explore a variety of key questions:
What does it mean to write queer life?
How do these texts engage with and create histories of queer life?
Why use the archive as a writer?
What value and limitations does the archive have for queer writers especially?

What will I achieve?
By the end of this course you should be able to...

• Have an understanding, and appreciation, of the cultural context which produced these particular iterations of queer writing.
• Identify key tropes which define this genre of writing.
• Analyse different forms of texts and media critically.

What level is the course and do I need any particular skills?

This course is for anyone who is interested in the subject. The course is suitable for all levels and you do not require any particular skills - just an enthusiasm for literature and a willingness to contribute to discussions. The course will provide an introduction to the subject but will also be useful for those wishing to build on existing knowledge in the subject area.

How will I be taught, and will there be any work outside the class?

The class will largely be taught through mini lectures, class discussions and group work. We will be reading extracts and watching performances from two key texts within the class. This material will be provided by the tutor. If you would like to read the volumes in full, the publication details are below in No.6.

Are there any other costs? Is there anything I need to bring?

We will be reading extracts and watching performances from our two key texts within the class. This material will be provided by the tutor. If you would like to read the volumes in full, the publication details are below:

Joelle Taylor, C+nto & Othered Poems (London: Westbourne Press, 2021)
Juliet Jacques, Variations (London: Influx Press, 2021).

When I've finished, what course can I do next?

Please look for other Literature courses under History, Culture and Writing/Literature at www.citylit.ac.uk.

Megan Beech

Dr Megan Beech is a literature scholar and performance poet. She was the winner of the Poetry Society’s SLAMbassadors national youth slam in 2011. She has performed at venues including the Royal Albert Hall, Parliament, the Southbank Centre, Glastonbury Festival and Cheltenham Literature Festival. Her debut collection 'When I Grow Up I Want to be Mary Beard' was published in 2013, and her latest book 'You Sad Feminist' was released in 2017. Her poetry has featured on the Sky One's 'Russell Howard Hour' and the BBC iPlayer series ‘Women Who Spit'. She was featured in The Guardian lists of ‘inspiring young feminists in 2014’ and ‘Must Read Books of the Year 2014’ and Evening Standard's list of 'Ten 21st Century feminist icons'. She has recently finished a PhD at the University of Cambridge.

Please note: We reserve the right to change our tutors from those advertised. This happens rarely, but if it does, we are unable to refund fees due to this. Our tutors may have different teaching styles; however we guarantee a consistent quality of teaching in all our courses.