Critical Poetics Workshop: James Goodwin

James Goodwin at Arika’s Episode 10: A Means Without End, Tramway, Glasgow 2019. Photo: Alex Woodward / Arika
James Goodwin at Arika’s Episode 10: A Means Without End, Tramway, Glasgow 2019. Photo: Alex Woodward / Arika

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 workshops provide a new platform for debate, collaboration and innovation suitable for those interested in exploring the relationship between creative and critical writing.


Led by poet James Goodwin, this creative-critical workshop hopes to cultivate a broad exchange of ideas around the term 'lysis'. Lysis, from the Greek word to loosen or unbind, refers to the breakdown of cell membranes, as well as the abatement of acute disease symptoms; it also constitutes the title of Plato’s early dialogue, ‘Lysis, or Friendship’, and it is this text that will provide our point of departure. By positioning ‘Lysis’ and lysis in relation to Jacques Derrida’s notion of writing as a pharmakon (remedy, poison, scapegoat), readings include Gwendolyn Brook’s short 1969 broadside, 'Riot', and D. S. Marriott’s ‘Preface: 16 Bars’ and ‘Back In The Ends (After Kano)’. Thinking through Fred Moten’s remark that the ‘lyric disturbs and augments lysis’, Goodwin engages both creatively and critically with/in a philopoetics of lysis as a way of reading as writing that allows us, in the spirit of C2, to ‘experimentalise’ with the conditions of our being.

The workshops will run online from November 2020 to May 2021, and places are limited. To sign up please submit an expression of interest (200 words), a visual statement or short oral presentation to Jack Thacker [jack.thacker@ntu.ac.uk] by 5 November 2020. We welcome applications from across disciplinary fields, from beyond the academy, and from all nationalities, as well as from under-represented groups, including trans and queer people, people of colour, and those with functional diversity.

During the 2020-21 academic year, all workshop sessions will take place online. Preference will be given to applicants who are able to commit participation to the full programme. We welcome active engagement in the sessions. Selected reading materials will be provided to workshop participants.

James Goodwin is a poet undertaking a PhD in English and Humanities at Birkbeck, University of London with a thesis on the blacksociopoetics of marronage, breath, sacrality and emanation. His pamphlet, aspects caught in the headspace we’re in: composition for friends, is forthcoming with Face Press; and his debut book, Fleshed Out For All The Corners Of The Slip, is forthcoming with the87press. His creative and critical work has appeared in online and print publications such as Intercapillary Space, Datableed, No Prizes, the Berkeley Poetry Review, earthbound press, and Poetry Wales, and is forthcoming with Granta Magazine and Hythe.

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