Five Bodies Workshop: J. R. Carpenter

Image courtesy of J.R. Carpenter.
Image courtesy of J.R. Carpenter.

'On Verticality’

Join us for a series of free monthly workshops exploring creative-critical practice, hybrid methodologies and experimental thinking.

Organised in collaboration with the Critical Poetics research group based at Nottingham Trent University, and featuring international guest speakers, the Five Bodies workshops provide a new platform for debate and collaboration for those interested in exploring the relationship between creative and critical writing.

Led by poet J. R. Carpenter, this creative-critical workshop asks how verticality has altered human perception. For much of human history we have crept along the surface of this planet. Until Constantine John Phipps began to sound the ocean bed between Iceland and Norway in 1773, many Europeans believed the sea was bottomless. In 1773 four of the worlds most active volcanoes erupted, spewing particles from deep within the earth high into the atmosphere, encompassing Europe and Asia in an unwholesomeness of air. The first balloon ascents were staged in Paris that same strange meteorological year. Human flight would finally be achieved by imitating not a bird but a cloud. In Spinal Catastrophism: A Secret History, Thomas Moynihan argues that we were never meant to walk upright. We were never meant to eat with implements. Posture and language are accidents. Put your phone down for a minute. Lie on your back. On the ground. Let’s think about about heights and depths beyond the scale of the human body, unattainable for humans without technology. A sheer drop, from cloud top to ocean floor, from the spinal column to the earth’s molten core.

Our open call for the 2020-21 academic years is now closed. Join our Five Bodies monthly poetry series, where unexpected ideas, experimental drifts and multiple voices explore perceiving, sensing, feeling and knowing as knowledge-making practices.

J. R. Carpenter is an artist, writer, and researcher working across performance, print, and digital media. Her web-based poetry work The Gathering Cloud won the New Media Writing Prize 2016. Her poetry collection An Ocean of Static was highly commended by the Forward Prizes 2018. Her most recent collection This is a Picture of Wind, is based on a web-app of the same name. Carpenter is a fellow of the Eccles Centre at the British Library and the Moore Institute at NUI Galway. She is currently Writer in Residence at the University of Alberta September 2020-May 2021.

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