Poetry in a Changing World
In this time of climate emergency, species extinction and pandemic, how can we respond as poets and writers? When humanity’s impact on the planet can be seen and felt all around us, and when our world shrinks to the size of our home and yard, what use is poetry and words? Should we write elegies that mourn for the species, people and places that have and will be lost? Should we use poetry and prose to inspire hope or imagine new ways of living in the world? Or should writing be a call to action, expressing our anger at political obstinacy on climate action and the need for change?
This workshop will explore how poetry and poetic prose can help us make sense of what is happening to our planet and the landscapes we call home. Through interweaving our emotional responses with ecological and political observations, we can create works that respond in a variety of ways to the precarious world in which we find ourselves.
What you will learn
In this three hour workshop you will:
- Analyse poems by Australian and international poets and learn about the range of literary responses to ecological crises, such as fire, flood, drought, species extinction and pandemic
- Explore and understand various approaches to writing about the natural world
- Learn how to use poetry and poetic prose to work through your individual reactions to environmental change
- Experiment with approaches to poetry and poetic prose that you may not have tried, including: poetry as advocacy or weaving material from the news or science into fresh poems; poetry or prose as an elegy to a place, species, individual or home you have lost; poetry as a way of stimulating empathy for the more-than-human world
- Think about creative ways of responding to ecological crises that include consideration of diverse perspectives such as culture, class, gender and identity.
Is this course right for me?
This course is suitable for aspiring, emerging, developing and established writers of poetry and prose interested in environmental issues, the natural world and writing about place. Even if you are a newcomer to poetry, this workshop will provide fresh writing strategies for thinking about how to write about nature and the environments that surround us.
This is an online course that will take place via zoom. Participants will need a good internet connection and a computer or device with Zoom downloaded and a built-in camera and microphone. Headphones with a built-in microphone are helpful but not essential. Alternatively, we suggest you plan to join from a quiet, distraction-free location.
Participants will be sent further information about how to join the online workshop after registration.
$50 members/$80 non-membersBOOK NOW
About the Tutor
Rachael Mead is a poet, writer and arts reviewer living in the Adelaide Hills on Peramangk land. She has an Honours degree in Classical Archaeology, a Masters in Environmental Studies, a PhD in Creative Writing and is an affiliate of the J.M. Coetzee Centre for Creative Practice at the University of Adelaide. Her debut novel The Application of Pressure was published by Affirm Press in May 2020. She’s published four collections of poetry: The Flaw in the Pattern (UWA Publishing 2018), The Sixth Creek (Picaro Press 2013) and two chapbooks. An excerpt from her next novel The Art of Breaking Ice was awarded Varuna’s 2021 Mick Dark Fellowship for Environmental Writing. She won the 2020 Poetry D’Amour Prize, the 2019 Booranga Fiction Prize and was awarded the 2019 AP/NAHR Eco-Poetry Fellowship offered by Australian Poetry and Nature, Art & Habitat for a month-long residency in the Taleggio Valley in Northern Italy. For more information about Rachael, visit her website.
Images used in the banner above are the copyright of Rachael Mead.