Date: March 12, 2024

Time: 6.30 pm - 8.30 pm

Duration: 8 weeks

Level: Beginner | Emerging |

Cost: €240 (€220 Members)

Location: Irish Writers Centre

This course will take place in person on Tuesdays (eight sessions in total). 

Course Summary

A lobster telephone, a melting clock, hands with eyes, and lots of eggs. These are your ingredients: now, write a poem.

In this eight-week course, participants will be introduced to Surrealism and a number of its key artists. Surrealism, like poetry, employs juxtaposition and ‘strange bedfellows’ to convey a particular idea or feeling. Surrealist film, paintings, prose, drawings, and dreams will be used as points of departure to explore the possibilities of imagery and language in poetry. Participants will learn how to find inspiration in unexpected corners, experiment with different writing techniques, and generate a number of new and original poems.


Course Outline

Week 1 – Dada Means Nothing: Introduction
Week 2 – Existence is Elsewhere: André Breton’s Surrealist Manifesto
Week 3 – Oh Melted Clock, Oh Razored Eye: Salvador Dalí and Luis Buñuel
Week 4 – My Heart Would Have the Shape of A Shoe: Federico García Lorca
Week 5 – I’ll Turn Myself Into a Horse: Leonora Carrington
Week 6 – Disturbing Presence: Remedios Varo
Week 7 – The Broken Body, Monkey, Deer: Frida Kahlo
Week 8 – Exquisite Corpse: Conclusion


Each week participants will have the opportunity to share their work for discussion and constructive feedback. Participants are also encouraged to actively contribute materials – if you find an article or artwork of interest during the


Course Outcomes

At the end of this course, participants will have learned new ways of accessing ideas, engaging with other artforms in their writing practice, and ‘making’ poems. Participants will be familiar with the key concepts and artists of the Surrealist movement, and will have explored different media and writing techniques to generate new, original works of poetry.


Lianne O’Hara is a poet and playwright. Her work is published in Winter Papers, The Rialto, Arc Poetry Magazine, The London Magazine, Abridged, Poetry Ireland Review, Banshee, and elsewhere. Her poem ‘Soap’ features in the Ink & Imagination exhibition at the Museum of Literature Ireland. Her play Fluff had a sell out run at the 2022 Dublin Fringe Festival. She teaches creative writing at University College Dublin.