Alice Oswald joins Dartington Arts School as senior lecturer

by | Sep 16, 2021 | News & blogs, News & blogs: Arts School, Poetics of Imagination

We are delighted to be able to share with you that poet Alice Oswald is joining the teaching staff at Dartington Arts School as a senior lecturer on the Poetics of Imagination MA.

Alice’s award-winning poetry focuses on ecology, gardening and music. She lived on the Dartington estate for many years and her collection ‘Dart’ (2002) tells the story of the river that runs through the grounds, its human and non-human communities and the magic in both the water and the banks that hold it. Her many accolades include the Warwick Prize, the Ted Hughes Award, the T.S. Eliot Prize, the Griffin Poetry Prize and the Eric Gregory Award. She is also professor of poetry at Oxford University.

Alice Oswald

Alice was introduced to the course this June as one of four poets participating as guests in a poetry workshop for the Poetics of Imagination students. She commented: “I have known and loved Dartington for twenty-five years and I’m thrilled to be part of its next phase. I believe that the imagination is a crucial instrument for understanding the world and I look forward to studying its laws and visions with others who are interested. Above all, I’m devoted to the River Dart and I think it has more to teach us than I’ve yet discovered.”

The Poetics of Imagination MA is centred around oral storytelling. It examines the stories woven into our culture from ancient folktales, myths and fables, to contemporary tales. Students explore what happens when humans imagine and asks what story is trying to be told right now?

Also joining the faculty as senior lecturer is Emma Bush. Emma has a long history with Dartington having studied BA Theatre and MA Art and Ecology at Dartington College of Arts. She is also a Doctoral Teaching Assistant at the University of Plymouth where she is working on a PhD.

She works in the field of art and ecology, using performance, site-specific walks, writing and workshops to explore ideas. Her practice maps processes of exchange between ourselves and others, including animals, weather systems, oceans, forests, villages, cities, countries.

Emma added: “With its studios, gardens, multiple histories, and ghosts Dartington is an incredible place to encounter ideas, build relationships and develop trust in the process of making. There are strong connections across my research and practice with the aims of the course- invested as they are with how and why stories come into being, are imagined, transmitted, and received.”

Alice and Emma join Dr Martin Shaw as the core teaching staff for MA Poetics of Imagination.

Dr Martin Shaw said: “As course lead for the Poetics of Imagination MA I am absolutely delighted that Alice Oswald and Emma Bush are joining me on the teaching faculty. Their invigorating perspective on poetry and the wider arts will add depth and electricity to an already vibrant programme. This is an exciting moment for Dartington.”

Dartington Arts School opened September 2020. It runs alongside Schumacher College as faculties of the Dartington Trust, which is situated on a 1,200-acre estate near Totnes in Devon. Dartington has been at the forefront of progressive learning in arts and ecology for over a hundred years.

The Arts School’s predecessor, Dartington College of Arts, was recognised nationally and internationally for its radical and inventive approaches. Dartington Arts School draws on this rich international heritage and its extraordinary estate location to provide a dynamic and responsive context for contemporary study.

Dartington has eight dance, theatre, music and art studios, public venues including a medieval Great Hall, a gallery, a cinema, a specialist library and archive, and a wealth of outdoor spaces including a medieval deer park and Grade 2 listed landscaped gardens.

Dartington Arts School is currently offering five taught postgraduate courses (which are accredited by University of Plymouth): MA Poetics of Imagination, MA Arts & Place, MFA Reimagining Performance Practice, MFA Arts & Ecology, and MFA Cultural Production.​ We also offer a PhD programme in partnership with University of Westminster.

Find out more here.