Online: Tricksters, Totems and Thieves with poets Eileen Sheehan & Nicholas McLachlan Poetry Writing Courses Irish Writers Centre Dublin

Booked Out: Online: Tricksters, Totems and Thieves with poets Eileen Sheehan & Nicholas McLachlan

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Start: Tues 13 April 2021
Time: 6.30pm – 8.30pm
Duration:  6 Weeks
Cost: €165/€150 Members

Level: Beginner/Emerging

Course Summary: 

The poet writes, simultaneously, from a place of ‘knowing’ and a place of ‘unknowing’. The ‘knowing’ is the conscious knowledge and facts the poet brings to the poem. The ‘unknowing’ represents the spontaneous, unplanned elements that enter the poem unbidden: these often manifest as symbol, metaphor, imagery, or unexpected narrative elements. These twin forces often work in opposition to each other resulting in the writer feeling ‘stuck’ with the poem and unable to finish it; or finishing it too soon and prohibiting the poem from reaching its potential. By learning to recognize the forces at play in their own writing practice, poets can become more open and expansive in their writing, allowing deeper layers of meaning to enter the work.

Course Outline: 

First 4 classes: Each class will be jointly hosted by Nicholas & Eileen. They will present touchstone poems to act as springboards towards targeted writing exercises, with a minimum of three exercises per session. Each session will include general writing tips and techniques where participants can benefit from the experience of two facilitators. Be prepared to work hard in a lively and encouraging atmosphere.  

Final 2 weeks: 6 participants, each week, will present one poem, via screen share. Followed by detailed feedback from tutors and input from the 6 participants who are not presenting on that given night. Group discussions based on particular questions and feedback from participants.

Course Outcomes: Each participant will have begun 12 new poems with at least one poem developed to a stage where it is ready for critique. They will have gained confidence, and new insights, by presenting their poem for discussion in an online group environment. Going forward, each participant will have developed a solid skillset for the future writing and editing of their own work.     

Eileen Sheehan is a poet and an experienced facilitator of creative writing workshops. She has been Writer in Residence for Limerick County, and Bealtaine Writer in Residence at The Seanchaí Kerry Writers' Museum. She has read at festivals in Ireland and abroad including The Shanghai Literary Festival; the ACIS Conference in Iowa; Writers’ Week Listowel and Cork International Poetry Festival. Her third collection, The Narrow Way of Souls is published by Salmon Poetry. One of the poems from this collection is on the current Leaving Certificate English Syllabus. 

Nicholas McLachlan is a writer and teacher of poetry and fiction. His first collection of poetry, The Rain Barrel, was published by Salmon Poetry in 2015. His second collection is due in 2022. He received the Patrick and Katherine Kavanagh Fellowship for 2016. He mentors individual writers and teaches creative writing, poetry and fiction to university, school, and community groups.

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