On Voice and Voices

Mon 2 October 2023 - Fri 6 October 2023
Tutors / Clare Pollard & Owen Sheers
Guest Reader / Sabrina Mahfouz
Course Fee / From £575 - £675 per person
Genre / Poetry
Language / English

Seamus Heaney once said that “finding a voice means that you can get your own feeling into your own words and that your words have the feel of you about them.” Over this week’s course of guided workshops and dedicated writing sessions, we will explore both the poetic ‘I’ and the poetic ‘other’, asking how we might write personal poetry in a voice that rings true, whilst also exploring the possibilities and potential of the voices of poetic characters, from dramatic monologue and the film-poem to verbatim-inspired work and verse-drama. Expect one-to-one tutorials, group workshops, readings and lots of exercises drawing on confessional poetry, diction, dialect, idiolect and performance.

Tutors

Clare Pollard

Clare Pollard has published five collections of poetry with Bloodaxe, most recently Incarnation (2017) and a pamphlet, The Lives of the Female Poets (Bad Betty Press, 2019). Her poem ‘Pollen was nominated for the Forward Prize for Best Single Poem 2022. She has been involved in numerous translation projects, including translating Ovid’s Heroines (Bloodaxe, 2013) which she toured as a one-woman show. Clare has also written a play, The Weather (Faber, 2004)that premiered at the Royal Court Theatre and a non-fiction title, Fierce Bad Rabbits: The Tales Behind Children's Picture Books (Fig Tree, 2019). Her latest book is the novel Delphi (Fig Tree, 2022). 

Owen Sheers

Owen Sheers’ books of poetry include Skirrid Hill (Seren 2004), winner of a Somerset Maugham Award, and the verse drama Pink Mist (Faber, 2013), chosen as a Guardian top ten play of the year and winner of the Hay Festival Poetry Medal and Wales Book of the Year. His first novel Resistance (Faber, 2007)was translated into 15 languages and adapted into a film. His most recent novel, I Saw a Man (Faber, 2015) was shortlisted for the Prix Femina étranger. Owen’s BAFTA nominated film-poem The Green Hollow (Faber, 2016)won three BAFTA Cymru awards. To Provide All People (Faber, 2018)is his most recent film-poem, written to mark the 70th anniversary of the NHS. A former NYPL Cullman fellow, Writer-in-Residence at The Wordsworth Trust and Artist in Residence for the Welsh Rugby Union, Owen was the recipient of the 2016 St David’s Award for Culture and the 2018 Wilfred Owen Poetry Award. He is chair of Wales PEN Cymru and Professor in Creativity at Swansea University.  

Guest Reader

Sabrina Mahfouz

Sabrina Mahfouz is a British-Egyptian writer, performer and educator. She was raised in London and Cairo, and began her career in the civil service. Sabrina’s poetry collection, How You Might Know Me (OutSpoken Press, 2017) was named a Guardian Best Summer Read, and her edited anthology, The Things I Would Tell You: British Muslim Women Write, was voted a 2017 Guardian Book of the Year, and selected by Emma Watson for her feminist book club. Her anthology Smashing It: Working Class Artists on Life, Art and Making It Happen (The Westbourne Press) was published in October 2019. She also contributed an essay to the award-winning collection The Good Immigrant (Unbound, 2016), edited by Nikesh Shukla. Sabrina has run writing workshops in prisons, schools and charities for organisations including the Royal Court, the National Theatre and the World Economic Forum. She was elected as a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature in 2018.

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