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You are here: Home > The Writer's Compass > Events & Opportunities > Events > Poetry School: Zig Zag Motifs: Lyric Invitation, Immersion, & Criticism Masterclass with Zakia Carpenter-Hall (Online)
Poetry School: Zig Zag Motifs: Lyric Invitation, Immersion, & Criticism Masterclass with Zakia Carpenter-Hall (Online)
Thu 9 May 2024 to Thu 1 Aug 2024
The poet as critic, the critic as artist – poetics across the divide. In this course you will traverse the conventional boundaries between poet and critic – lyricism and analysis, immersion and distance – to explore where these vantage points can intersect, overlap and diverge in interesting and impactful ways.

‘THE USUAL MEANING OF BOUNDARY is “dividing line” – a separation between two things. But isn’t a boundary also a place of meeting and coming together?’ – Saki Santorelli

Like the epigraph suggests, we will consider the borders between poetry and criticism as mutable and movable.

Traditional criticism positions the critic as an expert with the ability to assess a piece of art using their vast stores of knowledge, their ability to maintain objective distance, and analyse through dissection. While this is one approach to assessing poems, it is not the only method.

While the critic may be seen in this view as someone who is detached, or able to overcome their subjective stance, the poet might be described as an expert in feeling, harnessing their unique perspective and use of language in an affecting way to move the reader – a unique set of skills that can elevate criticism and writing about other poetic work.

Looking at the hybrid texts of poet critics such as Hanif Abdurraqib, Tracy K. Smith, Clare Pollard, Jay Bernard, Terrance Hayes, Renee Gladman, Harmony Holiday, Mary Ruefle, Gregory Orr, and others, you will begin to see and experience, not only how critical writing can be an act of care but also how it can be merged with poetic sensibility and craft to become a work of art in its own right.

Masterclasses are an expanded version of our International Courses, with a much deeper consideration of technical craft and critical theory. There are no live chats and they are suitable for UK and International students.

Zakia Carpenter-Hall is an American writer, tutor and critic living in the UK. She was a winner of Poetry London’s inaugural mentoring scheme, a London Library Emerging Writer, and a Jerwood Bursary Recipient. She has been a Poet in Residence with The Scottish Poetry Library, in partnership with Africa in Motion and the Obsidian Foundation, which resulted in her ecopoetry film ‘Human Ecologies’ (2021). She was interviewed on The Poetry Society Podcast and her poetry and reviews have both been published in Poetry Wales, Poetry Review, Wild Court, Magma and elsewhere with her first review published in Poetry London. Zakia is a contributing editor of Poetry Wales 60.2 along with Kandace Siobhan Walker, and supported the making of Magma 82 along with editors Nick Makoha and Gboyega Odubanjo. Her debut poetry pamphlet Into the Same Sound Twice (Seren, 2023) has been featured among TLC’s ‘Success Stories’ as well as reviewed in Buzz Mag, Gwales and The Friday Poem. In addition to teaching at the Poetry School, she’s taught creative writing at Kingston University and Royal Holloway, University of London.

Dates: 9 May - 1 August 2024
Location: Online via Zoom
Cost: £200

Book your place here

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