Creative Writing Through Visual Art

This course is now sold out. Please check out the remaining available courses or register to our mailing list for future updates.

This class is held in partnership with Imperial College London.

Dates: 11 October 2023 – 6 December 2023 (no class 25 October)

Day: Wednesdays

Time: 18:30 – 20:30

Fee: £200

Level: Beginners

Tutors: Astrid Alben and Kathryn Maris

Location: 124 Kennington Park Road, London, SE11 4DJ


This creative writing course, directed at visual artists and art enthusiasts, introduces literary techniques that can be connected to art-making or responding to art. In this 8-week course, you will explore collage, fragmentation, notebook-scavenging, erasure, flash fiction, concrete poetry, lyric essay and other forms and devices that will expand your imagination and hone your skills in a supportive workshop setting.


Most traditional creative writing workshops are limited by genre: fiction, poetry, playwriting and creative nonfiction. This course, by contrast, favours a multi-genre, fluid approach that can incorporate ‘outside’ disciplines such as philosophy, memoir, criticism and – in particular – visual art.

The course is directed at artists, art enthusiasts and writers hoping to innovate their practice. In these 8 workshops, you will be introduced to literary techniques with affinities to art making and art writing. Among the topics we will explore are collage, fragmentation, notebook-scavenging, erasure, flash fiction, concrete poetry and lyric essays.

Astrid and Kathryn are acclaimed poets who work innovatively across genres. Teaching alternating weeks, they will provide a supportive and interactive workshop environment that will include a combination of tutor and peer feedback.

By the end of the course, you will have learned new techniques, developed confidence in your writing, and acquired a portfolio of new written material.The course is suitable for all levels of writers, artists and creative thinkers. Some knowledge of art and literature is recommended.

All you need for class each week is a pen, a notebook and your imagination.


Astrid Alben is a poet, editor and translator. She is the author of three poetry collections, Ai! Ai! Pianissimo, Plainspeak and Little Dead Rabbit, which is also published in Dutch by PoëzieCentrum. Her translation of Anne Vegter’s Island glacier mountain won an English PEN Translates Award in 2022. She has worked with BBC Radio and Wellcome Collection, and with performance and animation. Alben was awarded a Wellcome Trust Fellowship in 2014 for her work across the arts and sciences with PARS, an arts and sciences initiative she founded in 2002. She is currently working on a lyrical essay and the international editor for Prototype Publishing. | @AstridAlben

Kathryn Maris is the author of three poetry collections. Her most recent was The House With Only An Attic And A Basement (Penguin 2018), a portion of which won the Ivan Juritz Prize for creative experiment. She has won a Pushcart Prize and an Academy of American Poets award, and her poems have appeared in The Guardian, The Spectator, The Financial Times, Granta, Best British Poetry and the Forward Prize Book of Poetry. She has also written essays and book reviews for The Times Literary Supplement, The New Statesman and many literary magazines. A highly experienced teacher, she has taught creative writing at Boston University, Kingston University, Morley College, the Poetry School and residential Arvon courses. Until recently she was a Writing Fellow at City & Guilds of London Art School.



Image credit: Text Astrid Alben, Graphic design Zigmunds Lapsa.


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