Writing eco-poetry: a taster
Time: 14:00 - 16:30
This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
Course Code: HW316
Duration: 2 sessions
What is the course about?
How can we write poems that reflect the precarity of the natural world and our increasingly uncertain relationship with it? In this course, we will draft fresh new eco-poems that reflect the climate crisis and our shifting relationship with the earth. We will unpack the differences between eco and nature poetry, write in the voices of threatened species and work with natural objects to create fresh new work of witness and encounter.
We will write into the spaces and places where human and non-human interact, explore contemporary eco-poetry and ask questions about its role in a time of climate crisis. There will also be a chance to experiment with a variety of forms to write our own responses to the changing natural world.
This is a live online course. You will need:
- Internet connection. The classes work best with Chrome.
- A computer with microphone and camera is best (e.g. a PC/laptop/iMac/MacBook), or a tablet/iPad/smart phone/iPhone if you don't have a computer.
We will contact you with joining instructions before your course starts.
What will we cover?
- The differences between eco and nature poetry.
- Write in the voices of threatened species and work with natural objects to create fresh new work of witness and encounter.
- Explore contemporary eco-poetry and ask questions about its role in a time of climate crisis.
What will I achieve?
By the end of this course you should be able to...
-Explore and discuss contemporary eco poetry - what is an eco poem and what can it do?
-Explore, discuss and experiment with a variety of approaches to writing about the natural world.
- Write and receive feedback on new drafts of your eco-poetry.
-Leave with new drafts of your own eco poems to work on and further reading/writing and submission ideas to develop at home.
What level is the course and do I need any particular skills?
This course is for beginners in the genre. It's open to students who are trying poetry for the first time or who have never shared their work in a group setting before.
How will I be taught, and will there be any work outside the class?
You will be taught through a mix of individual, pair and group work, tutor instruction, text analysis, in-class writing activities and supportive workshop.
All writing courses at City Lit will involve an element of workshop. This means that students will produce work which will be discussed in an open and constructive environment with the tutor and other students. The college operates a policy of constructive criticism, and all feedback on another student’s work by the tutor and other students should be delivered in that spirit.
For classes longer than one day regular reading and writing exercises will be set for completion at home to set deadlines.
City Lit Writing endeavours to create a safe and welcoming space for all and we strongly support the use of content notes in our classes. This means that learners are encouraged to make their tutor and classmates aware in advance if any writing they wish to share contains material that may be deemed sensitive. If you are unsure about what might constitute sensitive content, please ask your tutor for further clarification and read our expectations for participating in writing courses at City Lit.
Are there any other costs? Is there anything I need to bring?
None. Bring a pen and paper / something to write during the session.
When I've finished, what course can I do next?
Once you've built your confidence on this introductory course, why not try Ways into poetry?
Sarah Westcott is an award-winning poet and journalist who has been writing professionally for over 20 years. She holds an MA in Creative Writing from Royal Holloway and has published three books of poetry. Her first collection Slant Light, published by Liverpool University Press (Pavilion Poetry) was Highly Commended in the 2017 Forward Prizes. Her pamphlet Inklings was a Poetry Book Society choice. Her second collection, Bloom, was published in May 2021 with Pavilion Poetry. Sarah's poems have appeared in magazines including Poetry Review, POEM and Magma, on beermats, billboards and the side of buses, and in anthologies including Best British Poetry. She was a writer-in-residence at the Bethnal Green nature reserve in 2016 and had her poems installed in the trees, triggered by footsteps. Recent awards are first prize in the London Magazine poetry prize, the Poets and Players Prize and the Manchester Cathedral poetry prize. Sarah grew up in north Devon, on the edge of Exmoor, and lives in Kent with her family. She is particularly interested in writing about the natural world.
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.