A course from the Poetry School, with Elizabeth Parker
Poems still inspire change. In April 2011, poet Maria Rivera stood in Mexico City’s main square and read ‘Los Muertos’ (‘The Dead’), a poem that, for one of the first times in public, dared name those killed in Mexico’s ongoing drug cartel violence. Since then, the poem has gone viral on social media and has been celebrated and translated by poets across the globe. In these sessions, we will explore impactful poems that react passionately to social injustice: from William Wordsworth (‘The French Revolution as It Appeared to Enthusiasts at Its Commencement’) to contemporary poets such as Rivera, Kim Moore (‘A Letter To Mr Gove’), Carol Ann Duffy (‘The Wound In Time’) and numerous poetic tributes to the victims of the fire at Grenfell Tower. In order to experiment with a range of techniques in our own writing, we will look at how these exemplary poets create impact in their poems, such as the ways they use structure, lists and repetition. Stimulating prompts and writing tasks will inspire us to express our own opinions and concerns through our poetry, with regular workshopping helping us to develop and hone our writing using the guidance and constructive criticism offered by the group.
Elizabeth Parker grew up in a garden nursery in the Forest of Dean and now lives in Bristol. She taught secondary English in comprehensive schools for eight years and is working on two novels based on her experiences. Her poetry has been published in various journals including Magma, The Stony Thursday Book, The Interpreter’s House and Agenda. Among others, she has been shortlisted for the Bridport Poetry Prize and the Gregory O’Donoghue Poetry Prize. She was a prizewinner in the 2016 Troubadour International Poetry Prize. Following her 2016 pamphlet, Antinopolis (published by Eyewear), Elizabeth’s first full collection, In Her Shambles, was published by Seren in April 2018.