Poetry Course

Originally from the Midlands, Eileen Casey has lived in Tallaght since the late 1970’s. Poet, fiction writer and journalist she holds an M.Phil in Creative Writing (Distinction) from The School of English, Trinity College, Dublin. Her work is widely published in outlets such as The Moth, Verbal Arts Magazine, County Lines: Portrait of a County (New Island); The Ulster Tatler, Ice (Pighog Press, UK), Poetry Ireland Review, The Irish Times, The Jelly Bucket (USA), The Coffee House (UK), among others. Recent awards include a Patrick and Katherine Kavanagh Fellowship and a Hennessy Literary Award (Emerging Fiction). She also won the Siar Scéal Poetry Award (Roscommon Libraries), The Francis Ledwidge Award, The Moore Medallion and The Oliver Goldsmith International Poetry Prize. Her debut poetry collection ‘Drinking the Colour Blue’ (New Island) was published in 2008. ‘Reading Hieroglyphs in Unexpected Places’ and ‘From Bone to Blossom’ (supported by South Dublin Arts, County Offaly Arts and AltEnts Publishing) are collaborative works with Co. Offaly Visual Artist Emma Barone. ‘Snow Shoes’ (Arlen House), a debut collection of short stories was published in 2012 and in 2014, Eileen’s collection of memoir essays ‘A Fascination with Fabric,’ was published (Arlen House). Berries for Singing Birds (Arlen House, 2019), contains a sequence of poems themed around Orphan Girls who emigrated during famine times, under The Earl Grey Scheme. She was also a visiting writer on the 2011 Eastern Kentucky University Winter Residency, in Lexington, Kentucky.

The Lost and Found Poetry Workshop

Next course starts on 9th September 2020 – 2 places remaining

Note: We are currently experiencing a high demand for our online creative writing courses. We therefore recommend that you book early to avoid disappointment. 

Price: €150

Duration: six weeks

Suitable for beginners to advanced. Note that this is an online course.

The six-week Lost and Found Poetry Workshop is an ideal way to explore the business of poetry under the guidance of a published poet. It is equally suitable for aspiring poets on the initial rung of their journey, poets working towards a first collection or poets who have already published.

The ‘lost’ element of title refers to how poetry, like any other narrative source, can be mined from life experience whether first hand or otherwise. ‘Found’ refers to poetry that is already out there in the public domain, poetry in the guise of advertisements, notices in shop windows, horoscopes, recipes, bulletin boards, legal documents, ingredients on the side of a packet of tea (for example) or indeed, any text which doesn’t necessarily appear to possess poetic possibility. The Lost and Found Poetry Workshop also encourages experimentation with form and content through the re-structuring of existing material. Opening the storehouse of memory will also be part of the workshop process. The workshop is presented in six modules and there will be weekly writing exercises. Eileen Casey will also provide feedback on those exercises.

Week One: Found Poetry: ‘It’s not what you are looking at, it’s what you see,’ (Thoreau).
This module discusses the basis of how ‘found’ poetry is identified. Discovering texts and images which appear to be non-poetic but which are loaded with poetic potential is a tremendous way of honing critical faculties. The course will supply text in its ‘raw’ shape, demonstrating how line breaks can intervene to create a whole new linguistic dynamic. Creating line breaks is part of the process of developing a writer’s unique style. A glossary of useful literary terms will be provided.

Week Two: Form
Using ‘found’ material, varying types of form will be applied in order to transform the ordinary into the extraordinary. In general, form and content have a symbiotic relationship, the latter often determining the former. Form can range from a simple shopping list to a Shakespearean Sonnet. Making the form choice ensures that the work has structure and definition. Various form examples (from the classical to newer, more contemporary ones) will be provided. The merits of free verse will also be explored.

Week Three: White Fences make Good Neighbours
Couched in another way; both a borrower and a lender be. Using existing work and recasting it provides the opportunity to get beneath ‘its skin’ in terms of producing a work of parody or simply by extending boundaries. Taking work already honed and polished by established poets allows the opportunity to amplify or redefine a single segment of the work, restructuring it to fit a new purpose.

Week Four: The View from the Window
Adopting personas in poetry is a useful way of developing voice. This module sets in train the facility whereby new poetic horizons can be entered. Akin to ‘viewpoint’ in fiction, ‘The View from the Window’ encourages the ability to adopt a gallery of different perspectives/personalities so that the resulting poems are multi-layered. The ‘Crazy Jane’ poems of W.B. Yeats, among others, are an example of this.

Week Five: Opening the Storehouse of Memory
Memoir poems based around people and places are a rich lyrical source. Memoir poems are filled with light and shade. They can be piercing and perceptive or darkly humorous. Memoir poems have the ability to transcend and transgress; to obey their own rules, to unearth and unfold. Timeline and historical backdrop can often provide the scaffolding for these poems, using language possibilities which cross space and time.

Week Six: The Collaborative Space
‘God is really only another artist. He invented the giraffe, the elephant and the cat. He has no real style. He just goes on trying other things.’ – Pablo Picasso
Part of the process of being a poet is the facility to collaborate with other art forms, to go on ‘trying other things.’ This module examines the relationship between the written word and the world of painting, photography and music. Engagement with other art forms broadens the sensual experience. A sequence becomes a suite, the blank page transforms to canvas, a photograph becomes a Haiku. Participants will be invited to choose a favourite image/piece of music and use it as a starting point for new poetic beginnings. A glossary of relevant technical terms will be included as a means towards shaping the work.

“It’s been a pleasure working with my tutor, she has a great sense of what works and what is superfluous. I found the material inspirational.” – Sue Morgan

“The course is almost hypnotic, from the first read of the module, the words, poems, examples just inspire. It will create a new way to think about writing, how to view the content of your writing, and finally how to use words in a manner that liberates. Eileen’s honest and direct critique is the cornerstone of her teaching and the inspiration she creates.” – Kevin Maher

“I recently completed the Lost and Found Poetry Workshop with Eileen Casey through creativewriting.ie and wanted to communicate what a wonderful experience it was for me. I have learnt so much through the modules and exercises on the course. I loved the diversity of material on the modules and encountering so many new poems and poets. Being challenged to respond to different briefs every week was inspiring and receiving Eileen’s thoughtful and encouraging feedback an invaluable experience. Although I have tinkered a bit before, this was my first poetry course and the first time I have worked continuously on writing new poems for such a long period. At the end of the course I feel excited and encouraged at the prospect of continuing the journey begun with Eileen.” DW

To find out more about how the online courses work, you can check out our Frequently Asked Questions or if you have any further queries, you can email us at info@creativewriting.ie

Our cancellation/refund policy may be viewed here.

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