Surviving the Future – Poetry for Pre-Apocalyptic Times

I’m delighted to be running another online course with The Poetry School this Autumn term. Here’s a short description of the course from their site:

‘We are all engaged in looting the past. (Only the greatest geniuses manage to steal from the future)’ – Donald Barthelme. Where do you see yourself in 500 years’ time? Living in a city underwater? Being discovered as a mysterious fossil by the aliens who’ve inherited the earth? As poets should we approach the future of humanity with optimism or fear, or a bit of both? This course will explore and inspire poetry about the future, whether that be space travel, climate change, dystopian societies or apocalyptic visions. We will investigate the way the future might look and sound, and what our society will leave behind it for archaeologists and museums. Participants will respond to poetry by poets including David Tait, Christy Ducker, Carola Luther, Roísín Tierney and Matthea Harvey.

I’ve been thinking about the apocalypse and the idea of an uncertain / dangerous future for some time now in my own writing. It’s been suggested that this is a way of looking at our own mortality, but I also like to think of it as a way of preparing or trying to avoid that which is avoidable, particularly in terms of social collapse and climate change. I wrote a longer blog post about it which you can read here. Follow the link above if you’re interested in booking a place on the course.


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