Poetry Programme

Misbehaving Bodies

 

Misbehaving Bodies is our most ambitious poetry learning programme to date and is comprised of three separate but interrelated online courses that will run every Tuesday evening from January 2023. Each course is five weeks in length and takes place live on Zoom.

Misbehaving Bodies is curated and designed by artistic director of The Well Review, Sarah Byrne. Sarah studied psychology, criminology, forensic medicine and creative writing over a period of fifteen years—she also worked in prisons, psychiatric hospitals and research institutions, including Broadmoor Hospital and The Institute of Psychiatry in London. This programme is a distillation of her personal, professional and poetic experiences of the human body as it moves (and is moved) through three buildings that act as containers of constraint, support and transformation.

How might a poem have the capacity to hold these things? If a poem is a physical structure, do we make it differently each time? And what are a poem’s contents? Emotions, words, punctuation? Audre Lorde wrote that ‘Poetry is not only dream vision; it is the skeleton architecture of our lives. It lays the foundations for a future of change, a bridge across our fears of what has never been before’. Misbehaving Bodies is a confrontation with the poem as a curious container and the fragile craft of writing.

School

***SOLD OUT***

Dates: January 10th-February 7th, Every Tuesday at 7pm-9pm (Irish Standard Time)

This poetry course will look at the different physical and mental positions a body must take in a school setting and consider poetic responses to shared experiences. 

We will look at the uniformed, sedentary, expressive, excluded and teamed body through rich materials, writing exercises, editorial feedback, conversation and with the support of a very special guest—Dr Ishion Hutchinson, Director of Creative Writing at Cornell University. 

We will excavate with honesty and determination what happens to bodies deemed as misbehaving by those in authority and consider voices of neurodivergence, invisibility and agitation. We will also reflect on how school is generally the site of our first encounter with poetry and can be a source of inspiration, mentorship and community.

‘Misbehaving Bodies’ is an evolving container for both creativity, contemplation and dialogue and this course will guide and support you in the craft of poetry.

Our Guest Specialist Poet is Dr Ishion Hutchinson, Director of Creative Writing at Cornell University. Ishion’s work appeared in the debut issue of The Well Review and his work has been published widely including in The New Yorker, The Paris Review and The New York Review of Books. He is the author of two collections of poetry and his next collection is due out in 2023. You can read his most recent work here.

Hospital

Dates: February 21st-March 21st, Every Tuesday at 7pm-9pm (Irish Standard Time)

This poetry course will look at the different physical and mental positions a body must take in a hospital setting and consider poetic responses to shared experiences. 

We will look at the well, ill, waiting, visited and the healing body through rich materials, writing exercises, editorial feedback, conversation, with the support of a very special guest—poet James O’ Leary whose pamphlet, Sacrament of the Sick is due out with The Well Review in Spring 2023.

This course will also look at the concept of hospitality through the work of Anne Dufourmantelle and Jacques Derrida:

 “Hospitality” is viewed as a question of what arrives at the borders, in the initial surprise of contact with an other, a stranger, a foreigner. 

We will consider the borders of a poem and how writers can subvert and cross these to disturb a reader in the best possible way.

Our Guest Specialist Poet is James O’ Leary. O’ Leary’s work has been published in The Honest Ulsterman, The Irish Examiner, Banshee, Magma and elsewhere. His first chapbook There are Monsters in this House was published by Southword Editions in 2018. His new pamphlet, Sacrament of the Sick, will be published by The Well Review in 2023.

Misbehaving Bodies: Hospital with guest James O’Leary

€190.00

We offer two scholarships on each course. Please email us at info@thewellreview.com to apply.

Prison

Dates: April 11th-May 9th, Every Tuesday at 7pm-9pm (Irish Standard Time)

This poetry course will look at the different physical and mental positions a body must take in a prison setting and consider poetic responses to shared experiences. 

We will look at the arrested, secluded, represented, grieving and freed body through rich materials, writing exercises, editorial feedback, conversation, with the support of a very special guest—poet Dr Mary Noonan, professor of French Literature at University College Cork.

This course will also look at the concept of panopticism by Michel Foucault:

 So to arrange things that the surveillance is permanent in its effects, even if it is discontinuous in its action; that the perfection of power should tend to render its actual exercise unnecessary; that this architectural apparatus should be a machine for creating and sustaining a power relation independent of the person who exercises it; in short, that the inmates should be caught up in a power situation of which they are themselves the bearers (from Discipline & Punish: The Birth of the Prison)

Our Guest Specialist Poet is Dr Mary Noonan. Noonan’s work has appeared in the debut issue of The Well Review and has been widely published in magazines and journals. She has published two collections of poetry with Dedalus Press and a further two pamphlets with The Bonnefant Press. She is a professor of French Literature at University College Cork.

Misbehaving Bodies: Prison with guest Mary Noonan

€190.00

€190.00

We offer two scholarships on each course. Please email us at info@thewellreview.com to apply.

Model of Learning

Week One: Introductions: Writing & Dialogue Exercises

Week Two: Visiting previous work: Some Editorial Tools

Week Three: Creating New Work I (with Peer Feedback)

Week Four: Creating New Work II (with Guest Specialist Poet)

Week Five: Publishing and Performing: Releasing your work

***Class size is limited to twelve writers***

***We have three scholarships available this term. If you would like to avail of one or fund a further one, please contact us by email: info@thewellreview.com***

Testimonies

I’m finding the workshops brilliantly engaging and immensely inspiring and supportive. Pure praxis—which as far as I am concerned is about as on the mark as it gets.  Thank you so much for all your giving.

Sarah Byrne knows how to get the best out of students: this course was playful yet very focused, and made me write in ways I’d never dreamed of!

I’ve come away with new ideas and emotions about the world we live in, and feel braver now – I want to see more, and say more in my work.

The value of relentless honesty and openness was highlighted – for the artist and the consumer. Through a variety of writing tasks and meditations I’ve felt myself push deeper and wilder into my emotions and how I express them on the paper. I’ve learnt to not hold anything back.

Not only is Sarah is a warm and inclusive course leader, but she introduced us to amazing, inspirational guest tutors.