Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences

Poetry and Identity: Creating Character

This event has now finished. Please see our events website for details of upcoming events at Brookes.

Claude Cahun

Who this event is for

  • Everyone


128 (Executive Suite), John Henry Brookes Building, Headington Campus, Gipsy Lane site


Poetry and Identity: Creating Character poetry writing workshop with Tamar Yoseloff

Oxford Brookes Poetry Centre is delighted to invite you to a special day-long poetry writing workshop with celebrated poet Tamar Yoseloff.

The workshop will take place on Saturday 11 February from 10.30-16.30 and is designed to coincide with an exhibition by acclaimed French photographer Claude Cahun running in Brookes’s Glass Tank Gallery. 

Claude Cahun (1894-1954) is best known for her original, enigmatic and playful photographic self-portraits. Born Lucy Schwob, she adopted the pseudonym in 1917 to free herself from the narrow confines of gender. Decades ahead of its time, her work toyed with perceived gender roles and identity, concerns that are still current and pertinent today.

In this practical writing workshop we will look at how poets frame issues of identity, sexuality, gender, role-playing and character, using the photographs and writings of the enigmatic French artist Claude Cahun as our starting point. We will discuss examples of dramatic monologue, autobiography and other ways of presenting the first-person viewpoint, examining a diverse range of poets, from Sappho to Sylvia Plath. Participants will be encouraged to generate new poems during the session, and to share first drafts with the group.

About the tutor

Tamar Yoseloff is a London-based freelance tutor in creative writing, and runs site-specific writing courses for galleries such as the Hayward, the Royal Academy and the Tate. She is currently a visiting guest lecturer at Newcastle University and a tutor on the Poetry School / Newcastle University MA in Writing Poetry.

Her fifth collection, A Formula for Night: New and Selected Poems, was published by Seren in 2015. She is also the author of Formerly, a chapbook incorporating photographs by Vici MacDonald (Hercules Editions, 2012), shortlisted for the Ted Hughes Award; two collaborative editions with the artist Linda Karshan; and a book with the artist David Harker.

More information and how to book

Cost: £45 and £40 for Brookes staff and students

Photo credit: Claude Cahun, Self Portrait, 1928. Courtesy and copyright Jersey Heritage,