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Online Poetry Workshop with Thomas McCarthy

Autumn Encounter

Starts: Wednesday October 5th
Time: 7.30pm – 8.00pm
Duration: 4 weeks (October 5th, 12th, 19th and 26th)
Cost: €25

Course Level: Aspiring

Workshop with Thomas McCarthy Application Form



All remote courses take place on Irish Standard Time (GMT)

Summary: This course is aimed at aspiring authors, those who are starting to write and/or starting to find their voice and who need some feedback and direction. It will be about creating new moments for your poetry; poetry you may have left behind in your life and new poems from the poet of the present moment within you. Each of the first three weeks I’ll lead off with an exemplary text, a poem you will be asked to read, to show you how a fine poem gets made. But that’s only a third of it.

Two thirds of each class will be spent with your texts, and we’ll read your texts from the point of view of what we’ve learned from the exemplary poem.

The idea is to push ourselves towards the excitement of a finished poem, a polished poem, a poem that is compressed with energy and urgency and necessity. We will banish what is redundant and re-shape the universe together. We go after the best possible poem inside you, your true tone and your empowering theme or obsession.

What to Expect: Each week of the first three weeks we’ll look at texts by at least a third of the participants. Ideally two poems each. We’ll read the poems from the point of view of completeness, aptness of language, usefulness of choice of theme; and whether this theme is adequately communicated.

For the final week I’ll share four exemplary and brilliant new collections of poetry. I will explain fully why you should be familiar with them, and what you can learn from them. In the final half of this final week, each participant will share one of their poems we’ve already worked on; tell us what changes they’ve made and why those changes are closer to the best possible poem. This will be a concentrated session which may go on longer than the allotted time.

Outcomes: At the end of this course you should be a properly orientated poetry-soldier, ready to present your work anywhere and in any context and closer to stating clearly who you are as poet.

Course Leader: Thomas McCarthy has published ten collections of poetry. He has won the Patrick Kavanagh Award, the Alice Hunt Bartlett Prize and the O’Shaughnessy Award as well as The Ireland Funds Annual Literary Award. The Gallery Press recently published his Poetry, Memory and the Party, a personal journal of forty years in poetry.


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