Saturday 26 October 1100 - Saturday 23 November 1300

Saturday 26th October to Saturday 23rd November
Consecutive Saturday mornings 11am – 1pm

Journeying through Poems – Course description 

How do we get from A to B or * to @ in a poem? A poem is a journey that can move inward and outwards at the same time, speed like an arrow and grind forwards like a glacier all in the same stanza. In these sessions we’ll be thinking about how different writers handle narrative journeys, how lines may have their own shape-changing stories as they channel meaning and images through them, and how metaphors shuttle us on strange journeys between things.

Alongside close readings focusing on formal matters and matters of material, we’ll find time to think about how poets make and authorise their journeys through a writing life by reading some of their reflections of their practices, and by reflecting on our own unique journey to the page and/or the stage.  Expect a mix of reading, writing, and reflection in each of our sessions together.

About the author

John Wedgwood Clarke was born and raised in Cornwall. He trained as an actor at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama before going on to study literature and complete a PhD in ‘Objectivist’ poetry at the University of York. He is an Associate Professor in Creative Writing at the University of Exeter.

His first collection Ghost Pot was described by Bernard O’Donoghue as a ‘masterpiece that rewards continual re-reading’. Clarke’s poetry often grows out of collaboration with scientists and artists, and is displayed in art galleries, museums and in the landscape.

His credits as television presenter and researcher for BBC Four include: Through the Lens of Larkin (2017) and Cornwall’s Red River (2021), which is based on his research project about a post-industrial river in West Cornwall. (Image credit: Lara Goodband)

We are offering two bursary places for this course, which are available by application only (to and will be allocated on a first-come, first served basis. The bursary is awarded on the basis of financial need not writing ability. You can find out about how to apply for a bursary, here.

PLEASE NOTE: We are intending for this course to take place in-person at Exeter Custom House.

We can accommodate free tickets for carers or personal assistants if needed. Please email us on after booking to let us know if you would like to book one of these tickets.