Poetry workshops with Tom Branfoot at Man MetSarah-Clare Conlon, Literature Editor
Join Manchester Cathedral’s new Writer-In-Residence Tom Branfoot for a six-week series of poetry workshops, entitled Doubt Wisely, presented in partnership between the Cathedral and the Manchester Writing School and Manchester Poetry Library at Manchester Metropolitan University.
Each week, the workshops will be exploring the relationship between doubt, uncertainty and suspicion and wonder in art, selfhood, faith and creative expression. Says the blurb: “Doubt is an integral component of religion and art. We doubt what we cannot achieve. Doubt is the unwillingness to have faith in something other than the self.” Poet and Manchester Metropolitan alumnus Tom Branfoot will help participants “turn doubt into an organising principle for poetry, to make unsureness productive”. Looking at poetry by Andrea Brady, John Burnside, Kaveh Akbar, Louise Glück, Lucie Brock-Broido, Sean Bonney and more, along with criticism from the likes of Lyn Hejinian and Will Harris, you will examine a wide scope of approaches to this fundamentally human affect and be introduced to writing exercises where you can test the limits of your uncertainty in the poetic form. No previous experience of creative writing or poetry required and all are welcome, of any or no faith.
As Writer-In-Residence at Manchester Cathedral, Tom Branfoot will be developing and delivering creative writing projects, working with local charities and communities, producing original work inspired by the cathedral’s archives and raising its profile.
Tom Branfoot graduated with a BA (Hons) English and American Literature at Manchester Writing School at Manchester Metropolitan University in 2020 and is studying for his MA in English: Issues in Modern Culture at UCL. Originally from Bradford, he organises the monthly poetry reading series More Song at The Record Café there, showcasing innovative writing from the North – recent invited guests have included Joe Carrick-Varty, Mau Baiocco and Emily Oldfield. His writing has been published in Washington Square Review, The Babel Tower Notice Board, Murmur and other publications. His debut pamphlet I’ll Splinter came out in 2021 with Pariah Press and his second pamphlet, This Is Not an Epiphany, will be published by Smith|Doorstop in June 2023 – it won him the 2022 New Poets Prize for writers aged 17 to 24, and judge Anthony Anaxagorou said: “These are formal, intelligent poems demonstrating an immense control of language and lineation. At their core is a restlessness, a searching presented as a series of inwards questions which never quite find their resolve, they keep going until the question itself becomes the endgame.”
As Writer-In-Residence at Manchester Cathedral, Tom Branfoot will be developing and delivering creative writing projects, working with local charities and communities, producing original work inspired by the cathedral’s archives and raising its profile within the literary community of Greater Manchester.
‘Doubt Wisely’: Poetry Workshops on Doubt with Tom Branfoot programme:
Week 1 – May 10: Introduction – Manchester Met Grosvenor East Building, GE 4.04
Week 2 – May 17: The Self and Doubt – Manchester Met Geoffrey Manton Building
Week 3 – May 24: Negative Capability – Manchester Met Geoffrey Manton Building
Week 4 – May 31: Metaphysics – Manchester Cathedral
Week 5 – June 7: Practising Happiness – Manchester Met Geoffrey Manton Building
Week 6 – June 14: The Alphabet Is Not Ours – Manchester Met Geoffrey Manton Building