Masterclass: Poetry and Dictionaries

Masterclass: Poetry and Dictionaries

Chasing new meaning into the light
  • Photo of Kate Potts
    Kate Potts
Date Tuesday April 9th 2024, 19:00-21:00 GMT
Location Online

In the preface to A Dictionary of the English Language, Samuel Johnson describes himself as ‘a poet doomed at last to wake a lexicographer’; to reach towards a perfect, precise word definition is to ‘chase the sun’. But by engaging with the practical, best-fit definitions of dictionaries, poetry can challenge and remake the language, re-inserting the individual, bodily voice into the cultural lexicon.

In this masterclass with award-winning poet Kate Potts, you will explore the ways poetry can respond to and rework dictionaries and definition, from Emily Dickinson to Kei Miller, from the OED to the US Department of Defense’s Dictionary of Military and Associated Terms. Through playful writing activities, you’ll discover how working with dictionaries can be both celebratory and subversive, bringing new meanings and understandings into the light.

The Masterclass will be delivered via Zoom webinar, so you can take the session at your own pace, without the pressure of having your video or camera on. Sessions are also recorded so if you are unable to attend live, you will have access to the recording for a month afterwards.

Online: £40

Concessions: £20

As part of our effort to increase participation in the arts, half-price concessions are available for this course at checkout. There are a limited number of free subsidised places for those who cannot afford the concession price.

We are committed to making our Arvon at Home programme accessible to as many people as possible.

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"These zoom opportunities are really helping to open my world and keep me inspired to write."
— Masterclass participant
"Arvon at Home creates a model to participate in inspirational tutoring for writers, at a distance. The feeling of attending to my writing life in an excellent fashion, and still having a half-day for my work and caring responsibilities at home, felt like a good balance."
— Masterclass participant
"It was an absolutely brilliant session and very very useful. And it made me realise how much I’ve missed this kind of workshop because of having children and family that I can’t leave. Now we’re all in the same boat the online stuff is truly transformative."
— Masterclass participant



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