Google+ Followers

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Peter Cowan Writers Centre Poetry Programme

There are just nine more days before entries close for the inaugural advanced poetry workshops. Applicants must submit between three and five of their recent poems to Peter Cowan Writers’ Centre with a copy to Professor Andrew Taylor and 12 poets will be invited to attend 10 sessions on the second Saturday of each month from February to November. This is the provisional programme.


Submissions should be emailed to and also to


February 12: Andrew Taylor: Hearing it aloud: Rhythm, Voice and Breath

Poetry is a physical activity, it involves your breathing and indeed your whole body. Acquire a large dog and take it for long walks, and feel your line walking too, exploring, hunting things out. Listen to its rhythm, which is never arbitrary, and its tone, which is crucial. If you can´t read your own poetry aloud, if it sounds awkward, there´s something wrong with it. Think of poetry as a kind of breathing and being.

March 12: Shane McCauley: Imagery

This workshop will explore and practice the types and dimensions of metaphor, including T.S. Eliot's concept of the objective co-relative. Literal, figurative and allusive imagery will be considered, as well as the comparative merits of simile and metaphor.

April 9: Marcella Polain: Tradition and individual talent

Poetry is a conversation between the poet-in-the-now and poets who have gone before. These voices, many belonging to poetic canons, echo for and in us as we write, even if we prefer they wouldn't. You are invited to consciously enter a poetic conversation by bringing your favourite poem or two (any form) by another published poet and an openness to writing your response.

May 14: Andrew Lansdown: Alternative poetic forms (eg Haiku etc)

TS Eliot claimed that one poet is superior to another primarily on the basis of his or her critical faculties. Writing in traditional poetic forms supports and strengthens our critical faculties by providing objective guidance and goals. It also enhances our creativity by prompting us to think in ways that are new to us. This workshop will focus primarily on the traditional Japanese poetic forms of haiku, gunsaku, tanka and choka, all of which are conducive to contemporary descriptive, reflective and imagist poetry.

June 11: Glen Philips: Poetry and Place

July 9: Andrew Burke: Revision, rethinking, rewriting

Our conscious and our unconscious mind(s) are competing for top billing in the first draft of our poem. This workshop teaches participants how to polish the Vision, untangle the Thought, and fine-tune the Statement. But, as Charles Olson so rightly advises, we leave a little dirt on the roots 'just to make clear / where they come from...'

August 13: Kevin Gillam: Inspiration. OR matching form and mood

Inspiration: how do we keep ourselves creatively alive and alert as poets?
Are there techniques and practices that we could take on to ensure the imagination
and vitality in our writing remains? This workshop focuses upon the ways and means of sustaining the ‘wild mind’. Starting ideas, rules and strictures, syllable mapping, imagery games....and many more. A workshop to assist in keeping the spark, keeping it sharp.

September 10: Dennis Haskell: Metre and Rhythm

October 8: Lucy Dougan:

Sustaining Your Creative Practice:
This workshop focuses on encouraging participants to become aware of the idiosyncratic 'maps' of fragments and quotations from cultural practices that can sustain and inform their work. Be prepared to come along with a fragment from your favourite poem, novel, film, song lyric, or painting to use as the basis for new work.

November 12: Andrew Taylor and Glen Phillips What have you gained?

AND Being professional

Poetry is a never-ending process. What have you learned during these seminars, and has it prepared you to learn further? And a few words about getting published, getting a book together, and other ways of making your work known. Is online publishing all you should look at, even if it´s worldwide? Nobody in the poetry world is too well known, so think big. Be ambitious but also critical!

Kind Regards

John McMullan
Peter Cowan Writers Centre
Office hours Tuesdays and Thursdays, 10am-3pm
Phone/Fax: 9301 2282

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Hope you managed to fill all student places: they'll certainly get their money's worth from the state's top poets! FrancesMF