Online Course (learn from home)
Online Poetry Course with Jonathan Edwards – Someone Else’s Shoes: Poetic Monologue
Expand your voice with the thoughts, lives and feelings of others
‘You never really understand a person until you consider things from his point of view … until you climb into his skin and walk around in it.’
– Atticus Finch, To Kill a Mockingbird
From Robert Browning to Carol Ann Duffy, Patience Agbabi to Simon Armitage, a number of writers have explored the joy of how writing from the point of view of someone – or something – else can free the creative shackles and unleash poems of great power. In this online course, Costa Award-winning poet will help you will explore a range of things that the monologue can do, looking at poems which draw on characters from canonical texts, from history and from pop culture. Monologue can be a way of exploring different occupations and backgrounds, of looking at important themes such as gender, class and place, as in Alan Gillis’s brilliant poem ‘In These Aisles’, but it can also be a way of seeing the world completely differently, through the eyes of an assumed object, animal, tree… You will spend some time reflecting on the nature of voice as a whole – the way in which every poem, by its language and framing, creates a voice which is independent from its author, to say what it wants or needs to. Lastly, you will consider how monologue can work with performance poetry and help give poems a life beyond the page. Through a mixture of close reading, written exercises and feedback, you will seek to develop your own monologues to surprise and delight, and to illuminate the world – and ‘the rumoured existence of other people’ (Timothy Donnelly) – with understanding and empathy.
5 fortnightly sessions over 10 weeks. Live chats 7-9pm GMT on Thursdays, first live chat starting 31 Jan.