Sunday, 19 August 2012

Student of creative writing

Poets and creative writing courses may not be such a good mix.

In some opinions, a poet needs to sit still and develop an individual voice and viewpoint. How can creative writing as an academic pursuit teach you this?

Academic study can equip with you tools to for example:
  • describe your artistic practice
  • develop your published portfolio
  • make contact with editors who will publish you
But I imagine you could as easily study English or another language - Latin, Arabic, say - to learn about poetic form and voice; law or politics might sharpen your ability to use words to taut effect; and any scientific subject help develop discourse and arguments.

Then you can work outside poetry to earn money rather than teaching it; which seems to be the lot of the creative writing degree-ed. To paraphrase Orhan Pamuk if your paid work is not your art, you will never have to give up your art.

Worth considering before you sign on the dotted line this September or January...

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