Date: January 23, 2023

Time: 6.30 pm – 8.30 pm

Duration: 8 weeks

Level: Beginner | Emerging |

Cost: €240 (€220 Members)

This workshop will take place in-person at the Irish Writers Centre building.

Course Summary

Over eight weeks, ecosystems and the far ranging effects of their disruption will be discussed. How has poetry engaged with these matters? You’ll write new poems through a variety of prompts and inspirations, with a particular emphasis on your local environment: the wild plants and animals, the climate and your own movements through your ecos or home place.

Course Outline

Each Wednesday evening participants will spend the first hour studying and discussing poetry and ecology; the second hour drafting and /or sharing new writing. The discussions will be based around sample readings from contemporary Irish and international poets and essayists.

This course will include: the practice of ecologically-aware poetry; discussions of the term ecopoetry; connections between poetry, natural history, ecology and environment; reading of selected contemporary poems; understanding biodiversity and evolution; poems of appreciation, despair and revolt; approaching the page with energy despite grief and worry; the use of metaphor; the importance of first-hand observations and the use of field guides.

Tactile, visual, formal and literary prompts are offered to inspire new writing. You will be encouraged to experiment with form and voice in your own poems, to edit your new writing and submit it to journals when ready. A range of journals will be discussed.


Course Outcomes

To write new poems and develop an understanding of ecology. Explore and develop ways to sustain a poetic practice that engages with natural history, ecosystems, and human-induced ecological chaos.


Jane Robinson is an Irish poet and biologist. She was educated at Trinity College Dublin and the California Institute of Technology and worked as a scientist in Ireland, India, and the US for ten years before turning to writing, particularly poetry, to express and explore the urgent issue of environmental change. Her poems have been recognized by awards including the Strokestown International Poetry Prize and the Shine Strong Award for her debut collection, Journey to the Sleeping Whale. Her second poetry collection, Island and Atoll, forthcoming from Salmon, will be launched on 21st March 2023.