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New Tricks Poetry Workshop: Poetry & Genocide (with Westley Barnes)

November 28, 2019 - 6:30 pm - 8:00 pm


Whether you are curious to expand your poetry horizons or just want to try something new, New Tricks is for you.

New Tricks is a series of free, informal poetry workshops (see here for the full Autumn/Winter ’19 programme) based on the particular fixations of the facilitators – from rhyme, to the languages of coding, to Gertrude Stein. The form of each session varies from week to week depending on the topic, and every opportunity is taken to make each session engaging, interactive and ‘getatable’: no lectures and no wrong answers.


WORKSHOP FOUR: Poetry & Genocide (with Westley Barnes)

Who is comfortable reading about the past? What made you most uncomfortable in secondary school? Reading in general? Reading about the genocidal crimes committed by state institutions in the middle of the twentieth century? Or was it reading poetry, the strangest, most elusive, and at times the seemingly most effortless of written forms?

This workshop presents a chance to discuss the impact of the knowledge of genocide and of the complexities of reading, writing and discussing poetic forms. A brief discussion will consider how writers such as Paul Celan & Sylvia Plath problematize the use of imagery, autobiography and poetic language in order to alert the reader to the various historical, personal and morally challenging implications that that the depiction of violence & emotion can provoke and encourage in textual form.

Following this discussion, participants will be encouraged to think of the wider cultural result of the imagery of genocide in our contemporary world, and will be invited to write & discuss on this topic.

Westley Barnes is currently writing a Doctoral thesis on the theme of Authenticity & Artificiality in the novels of Michael Chabon at UEA. In 2017 he organized Testimony, Memory & Reading Trauma in Representations of the Holocaust, a symposium at that aforementioned university. Originally from Ireland, he writes and performs poetry in Norwich, and is a keen bar billiards enthusiast.


All sessions run 6.30-8:00pm at the Book Hive.
The workshop section of the evening will run for an hour, allowing for 30 minutes of mingling and mulling afterwards.
Doors 6:15pm for a prompt 6:30pm start.
Refreshments provided.
Limited to 13 places – please RSVP using the link below.


November 28, 2019
6:30 pm - 8:00 pm


The Book Hive
01603 219268


The Book Hive
53 London Street
Norwich, NR2 1HL United Kingdom
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