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Poetry in the Making: The Shared Stories of Sylvia Plath and Ted Hughes SOLD OUT

Sunday 23 March 2014

Half Day


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Ticket price

A Special Afternoon Created by The Rothermere American Institute

Poets Sylvia Plath and Ted Hughes did not only share a marriage: they shared myths, stories and imagery.  They shared voices and settings, and with this material they created dynamic words and images. Influenced by the traditions of theatre and the plastic arts, both poets arouse complex emotional and mental responses. 

This three-hour master class will explore the relationship between poetry and the moving image in the work of Sylvia Plath and Ted Hughes. Animator Suzie Hanna and poetry expert Sally Bayley will engage in the exciting relationship between images on screen and on the page. Working closely with published and rare unpublished poetry manuscripts, the class will explore the process of translating the word and image on the page to a two and three-dimensional moving image. The practice of object theatre will be a central component of the class. Participants will work with objects, lights and lenses as a means of opening up the dense language of poetry. Tutors will demonstrate how the creation of miniature theatrical worlds – worlds built from objects – can offer a new way of thinking about metaphor. 

Prize-winning poet Beckian Goldberg will lead a closing reflection on the role of myth, story and metaphor in her poetry. 

The Master class was developed at the Rothermere American Institute Summer School in 2013 and this course is designed to extend creative thinking and confidence in your relationship to poetry.  Numbers are limited to 30. The price includes tea and cake and an opportunity to talk informally to Bayley, Hanna and Goldberg.

The Rothermere American Institute is the foremost academic institution outside America for teaching and research in US history, culture, literature and politics. The institute aims to promote within and beyond Oxford a greater public and academic understanding of the culture and politics of the United States. 

Bayley is a teaching and research fellow at the Rothermere American Institute. She has published two books on Sylvia Plath’s visual poetics. For the past seven years she has collaborated with Hanna in creating several films responding to poetry.
Hanna is professor of animation education at Norwich University of the Arts. She is a practising animator who has trained in puppetry performance. She works in collaboration with artists, musicians, poets and academics to create films and projections in diverse media.

Goldberg is the author of several volumes of poetry. She has received the Theodore Roethke Poetry Prize, The Gettysburg Review Annual Poetry Award, The University of Akron Press Poetry Prize, the Field Poetry Prize, and a Pushcart Prize. Goldberg is currently professor of English at Arizona State University.

This event is part of the American strand at this year’s festival.