The Poetry Masterclass Series with Multiple Poets
Starts: Wed 27 Sept 2017
Time: 6.30pm – 8.30pm
Duration: 8 Weeks
Cost: €250/€230 Members
This unique course offers new, emerging and professional poets an inside look at the craft and processes of those who have previously excelled at the form. This series of curated masterclasses, taking place over eight weeks, is designed to encourage the experienced poet to step outside his/her comfort zone through exposure to the working techniques and ideas of practising poets at the top of their game. Over an eight-week period, a different poet will deliver a masterclass on a theme of their choice.
Join Moyra Donaldson, Abby Oliveira, Stephen Sexton and others to discover new ways to get to the heart of your own work. The full line-up for this course will be available by mid-August 2017.
Week 1: Noticing a Poem with Enda Wyley
Wed 27 Sept • 6.30PM - 8.30PM
Allow the poem to reveal itself to you by closely observing the craft behind a wide range of poetry by established poets. Be inspired by these poems and in turn, become more incisive in the making of your own poems. Group discussion and new writing will flow in this constructive session which will encourage you to become more confident in your approach to writing new poems.
Week 2: Hearing Voices with Moyra Donaldson
Wed 4 Oct • 6.30PM - 8.30PM
This workshop will look at the use of persona in poetry. Using examples from contemporary poets, we will examine how writing in the voice of ‘an other’ can bring fresh perspectives and liberate us to say unexpected things. The session will include group discussion and the creation of new writing. It will also look at the connection between form, content and meaning.
Week 3: Reading the Landscape with Noel Monahan
Wed 11 Oct • 6.30PM - 8.30PM
The workshop will deal with the following headings: The Attachment to the Earth; Placenames; Logainmneacha; Dinnseanchas; Responding to Flora and Fauna; Inner Landscape. There will also be a brief look at Patrick Kavanagh, Seamus Heaney and John Montague.
Week 4: A Slice of Toast with Abby Oliveira
Wed 18 Oct • 6.30PM - 8.30PM
"Toasts are performed narratives of often urban but always heroic events." In this fun workshop we will look at the oral tradition of toasting. By way of group discussion, and by considering some of the best known examples from the tradition's repertoire, participants will begin writing their own toasts. Given the typically comedic nature of the form, writing a toast can be both a freeing and fun experience for the writer, and will add an entertaining crowd-pleaser to your portfolio for performances & readings as well as informal gatherings.
Week 5: The Distance a Poem Can Travel with Peter Sirr
Wed 25 Oct • 6.30PM - 8.30PM
Every poem is a journey. This session explores the trajectories of poem and looks at ways to make your own poems' journeys interesting, surprising and unpredictable.
Week 6: Dramatising the Self with Jessica Traynor
Wed 1 Nov • 6.30PM - 8.30PM
How can theatrical techniques help improve our poems? What can the art of the dramatic monologue teach us in terms of shaping our poetic subject matter? In this workshop we'll be looking at theatrical writing techniques as a means of creating tension, conflict and drama in our poems. We'll also be developing our individual voices and thinking about ways to ventriloquise other voices, using some well known poems and dramatic monologues as examples.
Week 7: The Psychodynamics of Composition with Chris Agee
Wed 8 Nov • 6.30PM - 8.30PM
R.S. Thomas once remarked that writing a poem is like eavesdropping over your own shoulder. Osip Mandelstam likened poetic speech to a cross-bred process comprised of the imaginative and executory impulses. In numerous essays Heaney dowses and analyses how his imaginative psychodynamics are integral to getting “feeling into words.” It would appear that there is some innate connection between truly original work and the true originality of the poetic executor’s psychodynamics. It comes out naturally, decisively, steadfastly – that is both the gold standard and its measure. Or: poetry as a way of talking about thinking and feeling, a non-fiction true to one’s actual imaginative life. But how? In this session, using poems from both the group and the contemporary repertoire, this idea will be explored as time allows.
Week 8: Images with Stephen Sexton
Wed 15 Nov • 6.30PM - 8.30PM
“What is description, after all, / but encoded desire?” writes Mark Doty. From Ancient Greek rhetoric to shields, urns, paintings, photographs and The Simpsons, poets and writers have been interested in art objects and images for their immediacy and representational power. This workshop will include discussions of important examples in the genre of ekphrastic poetry, as well as some approaches and strategies for describing images and developing new creative work.
About the Poets
Christopher Agee’s third collection of poems, Next to Nothing (Salt, 2009), was shortlisted for the Ted Hughes Award for New Work in Poetry, organized by the Poetry Society and funded by the British Poet Laureate. He is the Editor of Irish Pages, Ireland’s premier literary journal, and recently edited Balkan Essays (The Irish Pages Press, 2016), the sixth volume of Hubert Butler’s essays. His fourth collection, Blue Sandbar Moon, is forthcoming. He divides his time between Ireland, Scotland and Croatia.
Moyra Donaldson is an award winning poet and creative writing facilitator from Co Down. She has published six collections of poetry and is widely published in literary magazines in Europe and USA.
Noel Monahan’s literary awards include The SeaCat National Award organised by Poetry Ireland, The Hiberno-English Poetry Award, The Irish Writers’ Union Poetry Award, The William Allingham Poetry Award and The Kilkenny Poetry Prize for Poetry. His work has been translated into Italian, French, Romanian and Russian. Where the Wind Sleeps is his sixth collection of poetry, published in 2014 by Salmon Poetry.
Abby Oliveira is a performance poet based in Derry. She was the 2014 and 2015 Lingo festival poetry slam champion, and recently completed a spoken-word tour in Australia, supported by the Arts Council NI. She is currently working on a play in conjunction with Tinderbox theatre co (Belfast) which will combine elements of performance poetry and theatre, and will be part of the company’s upcoming Take-Away Theatre initiative.
Stephen Sexton is a PhD student in the Seamus Heaney Centre for Poetry. His thesis looks at recent ekphrastic poetry. Stephen's poems have recently appeared in Poetry London and Poetry Ireland Review. In 2012 he was the winner of the inaugural Funeral Services Northern Ireland National Poetry Competition. His pamphlet, Oils, was the Poetry Book Society's Winter Pamphlet Choice for 2014-2015.
Peter Sirr's latest collection, The Rooms, was published by Gallery Press in 2014. The Thing Is, published by Gallery Press in 2009, was awarded the Michael Hartnett Prize in 2011. He has seven poetry collections published by Gallery Press. A novel for children, Black Wreath, was published by O’Brien Press in 2014. He is a member of Aosdána.
Jessica Traynor is a poet and creative writing teacher from Dublin. Her first collection, Liffey Swim, was published by Dedalus Press and shortlisted for the 2015 Shine/Strong First Collection Award. A new series of commissioned poems to accompany Swift's 'A Modest Proposal' is forthcoming from The Salvage Press in 2017.
Enda Wyley has published five collections of poetry; Eating Baby Jesus, Socrates in the Garden, Poems for Breakfast and To Wake to This. Borrowed Space, New and Selected Poems was published by Dedalus Press, 2014. She was the inaugural winner of the Vincent Buckley Poetry Prize, Australia and in 2014 was the recipient of a Patrick and Katherine Kavanagh Fellowship. She is a member of Aosdána.