University of Hunger: Poetry Workshop with Vahni Capildeo
is the university of hunger the wide waste.
is the pilgrimage of man the long march.
The print of hunger wanders in the land.
The green tree bends above the long forgotten.
The plains of life rise up and fall in spasms.
The huts of men are fused in misery.
Use Martin Carter’s fascinating, stirring poem, ‘University of Hunger’, as a springboard for meditating on and developing your own poetic voice.
Through close readings of one of the foremost Caribbean writers of the 20th century, you will experiment with the economies of time, folding the personal into the historical, and look at how to ‘double code’ your individual voice or dialect with the lyrical or mythological voices in your writing.
There will be an opportunity to practice planning longer length poetry, as well as exploring the pleasure and meaning in poetry derived from reading aloud vs reading on the page.
Feel free to bring words and phrases from your everyday life at home, including other dialects, languages, ‘non-standard’ English and other ‘improper’ speech.
Please also feel free to bring personal recollections, mementos, or news clippings about larger events (historical, political) to which you have a genuine personal connection.
Limited availability – this workshop will have a maximum of 12 participants to ensure an intimate learning environment.
Vahni Capildeo (born 1973, Trinidad), moved to England in 1991 to read English at Christ Church, Oxford; completing a DPhil in Old Norse and translation theory overlapped with a Research Fellowship at Girton College, Cambridge.
Her parents, Devendranath (a poet) and Leila (who studied French and Philosophy), influenced her writing, which crosses genres, moving from dreamlike to satirical, mixing languages and landscapes: the Caribbean, Yorkshire, Scotland, Iceland, Ireland and India.
Her books include No Traveller Returns (Salt, 2003), Utter (Peepal Tree, 2013), Simple Complex Shapes (Shearsman, 2015) and Measures of Expatriation (Carcanet, 2016), winner of the Forward Prize for Poetry 2016. She also writes prose and collaborates on performances.