Date: May 11, 2024

Time: 2.00 pm - 4.00 pm

Duration: 3 weeks

Level: Beginner | Emerging |

Cost: €85

This course will take place in person on Saturdays for 3 weeks

Course Summary

In association with The Irish Writers Centre

Led by poet, Grace Wilentz, this three-week course for adults focuses on writing poetry in response to the life, work and creative practice of Francis Bacon. Through short readings and group discussions, course participants will gain insights into the artist’s biography and creative process, using both as a springboard for responding in verse through a series of tailored creative exercises. This course will provide practical techniques and processes for developing original poems. While no prior experience is necessary, participants will be expected to participate actively in discussions and take part in writing exercises. The location of the classes will vary between the Hugh Lane Gallery (11 and 25 May) and Irish Writers Centre (18 May).

Fee: €85, advance booking required via Eventbrite here.

Course Outline and Summary

The course will begin with an assigned reading to give participants background to major events in the artist’s life. This will be paired with a visit to Francis Bacon’s Studio and the multimedia exhibition housed at the Hugh Lane Gallery. Participants will be led in a structured exercise to respond creatively during the gallery visit.

Subsequent weeks of the course will focus on reading and discussion of excerpts from David Sylvester’s Interviews with Francis Bacon (1962 – 1986), examining Bacon’s reflections on his own creative practice. Each week will include creative exercises exploring how Bacon’s approaches and techniques might apply to the practices of poets writing today.

It’s not often that we get to hear about the work extensively, and directly from the artist. Art critic and curator David Sylvester’s Interviews with Francis Bacon (1962 – 1986) contains detailed questioning about the artist’s working methods and process. Bacon’s answers speak to anyone who has tried to make a sincere work of art in any medium.

In this course, we’ll use these interviews as a central text to inform discussions and creative responses. This course is designed for writers interested in looking at what can be learned about sustained creative practice from an artist working in another discipline. Over three weeks, we will explore different approaches, inspired by Bacon’s own reflections, to writing and further developing new work.

In each session will begin with discussion of an assigned reading, followed by guided writing exercises for generating and developing original poems. Biographical texts and excerpts from Interviews with Francis Bacon (1962 – 1986) will be provided by the course leader.

Course Outcomes

Writers will come away with new poems, and discover new approaches to refreshing one’s own creative process.

Image: 7 Reece Mews Francis Bacon Studio. Photo: Perry Ogden. Collection: Hugh Lane Gallery. © The Estate of Francis Bacon


Fee: €85, advance booking required via Eventbrite here.


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