Poetry and Hope

Mon 19 June 2023 - Fri 23 June 2023
Tutors / Tishani Doshi & Menna Elfyn
Guest Reader / John Burnside
Course Fee / From £625 - £675 per person
Genre / Poetry
Language / EnglishWelsh

On this course we will seek to write poems that reconcile hope against hopelessness, using desire, myth and landscape as starting points to connect the intimate with the cosmic, the personal with the universal. We will examine how poetry can be a radical enterprise with the possibility for transformation and reclamation despite ongoing brutalities. Following a tradition of poets who have borne witness, holding despair in one hand and beauty in the other, we will look for openings of radical joy, rely upon language to transcend thresholds, to reinstate wonder, to believe, even if it doesn’t often feel like it, that poetry is one of our most vital powers.

This course is suitable for both emerging and more experienced poets looking to experiment with poetry.


Tishani Doshi

Tishani Doshi is a Welsh-Indian poet, novelist and dancer. She has published seven books of fiction and poetry, the most recent of which is A God at the Door (Bloodaxe, 2021), shortlisted for the Forward Prize 2021. In 2006 she won the Forward Prize for her debut poetry book, Countries of the Body (Harper Collins). For fifteen years she worked as a dancer with the Chandralekha group in Chennai. She is currently a visiting associate professor at NYU Abu Dhabi and otherwise lives in Tamil Nadu, India. www.tishanidoshi.com 

Menna Elfyn

Menna Elfyn is an award-winning poet and playwright who has published 15 collections of poetry, children’s novels, libretti for UK and US composers, plays for radio and television in Welsh and English. Her bilingual volume Murmur (Bloodaxe Books, 2012) was a Poetry Book Society Recommended Translation. Her work has been translated into twenty languages. Her recent bilingual collections are Bondo, (Bloodaxe Books, 2017) and a literary memoir Cennad (Emissary) (Bloodaxe Books, 2018). Cwsg (Gomer, 2019), a part-fiction, part-memoir book on sleep saw Menna being awarded a Creative Wales Award. Her poetry collection, Tosturi (Mercy) was published in 2022 by Cyhoeddiadau Barddas. She is Professor Emeritus of Poetry at University of Wales, Trinity Saint David and President of Wales PEN Cymru. In 2022, she was awarded the Chomondeley Award by the Society of Authors, for her invaluable contribution to Welsh poetry both in the UK and internationally. 

Guest Reader

John Burnside

John Burnside is a poet and prose writer whose work has been translated into over a dozen languages. His poetry collection Black Cat Bone (Cape, 2011) won the T.S. Eliot and the Forward Prizes in 2012. For many years, he has written on environmental issues in a variety of publications from Nature to the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung to The New Statesman. Amongst other things, he teaches Literature and Ecology in the School of English, at the University of St Andrews. His most recent poetry collection is Learning to Sleep (Cape, 2021).

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