Poets covered will include William Blake, Ezra Pound, Mina Loy, Stephen Spender, King Mob, Linton Kwesi Johnson and Abondance Matanda. Students will be asked to do some reading between classes.
Who is this course for?
This course is for anyone with an interest in poetry and/or in London’s literary history.
Will I need any equipment or materials?
Just a pen, pencil and paper for taking notes. The tutor will prepare a course pack of key poems for you. Some materials may be distributed digitally. There may be one or two longer books that can be bought, but this is not a requirement.
Meet the Tutor
Dr Ed Luker
Ed Luker is a poet, teacher, and writer based in London. He teaches at Birkbeck, Goldsmiths, and University of Surrey. He runs the semi-regular reading series, radio show and poetry platform RIVET. His fifth collection Heavy Waters has just been released on The 87 Press.
Week by Week
Week 1 - Thursday 16 January
The City in the Romantic Imagination: London, the commons, and the French Revolution
Looking at shorter poems by William Blake and William Wordsworth, the first class will explore the Romantic mode and how the city becomes a way of moving outwards (including France and even Haiti) and imagining a more just society.
Week 2 - Thursday 23 January
BLAST and damn: London and the avant-garde during the First World War
This class will explore how during the First World War, London was briefly the centre of an international avant-garde which attempted to break with literary tradition. It will look at work by Ezra Pound, Wyndham Lewis, and Mina Loy, and their relation to European avant-garde movements.
Week 3 - Thursday 30 January
Brothers in arms: the interwar period and British antifascism
In the late-1930s, a group of British poets including the London born Stephen Spender, and his friends Christopher Isherwood and W. H. Auden all spent time engaged with the struggle against fascism in Spain. This class examines the complications around brotherhood and class struggle in their work.
Week 4 - Thursday 6 February
The Revolution of Everyday Life?: London in the 1960s
In 1967, the French left-wing Avant-Garde group the Situationist International had declared the necessity of ‘The Revolution of Everyday Life’. This class explores their influence on London counter-culture of the 1960s by looking at writing by Anna Mendellsohn, King Mob, and Tom Raworth in the context of the British Poetry Revival.
Week 5 - Thursday 13 Febuary
Law and Disorder: Riots, Policing, and Poetry in the 1970s and 1980s
In the era of Thatcherism, the work of London based poets Linton Kwesi Johnson and Bill Griffiths may look distinct, but this class will draw together how two working class poets explore themes around policing and the state through linguistic experimentation.
Week 6 - Thursday 20 February
Austerity Measures: Poetry in London after the 2008 crash
Looking at poems written after the collapse of Lehman Brothers in 2008, this class works through how the poetry of contemporary writers such as Sean Bonney, Kate Tempest, and Abondance Matanda all emerges from a London of inequality, riots, and protest.
Need to Know
- 18:30 - 20:30
- Full £105 / Conc. £79
- Bishopsgate Institute
- Dr Ed Luker
- Max Students
- No. of Sessions
- Course Code