Past Event

Poetry Lab: Exploring Conflict Intelligence through a Poem

February 4, 2022
2:30 PM - 3:30 PM
Online Event

Poetry Lab: Exploring Conflict Intelligence through the Lens of a Single Poem

Please register on Eventbrite here: 

About this event

Every session is 60 minutes long and each week will explore a different poem. You may register for one, or some or all sessions. Virtual joining information will be sent to registrants ahead of each session. Please note that because these sessions are workshops, the recordings will not be available.

From October 2021 to May 2022, the Irish poet and conflict mediator Pádraig Ó Tuama will be in residence with the International Center for Cooperation and Conflict Resolution at Teachers College, as well as Columbia’s Earth Institute, Columbia Climate School.

His project during this time is exploring dynamics of conflict and sustainability through the lens of poetry.

Poetry is a communicative technology that has emerged from every culture on earth. For as long as there’s been literature, individuals have turned to poetry for the purpose of communicating what mere sentences cannot communicate. At poetry’s heart can be ambivalence, rage, lament, resistance, regression, the murky world of dreams, and anxiety. In this way, poetry is primed to provide interest into the human animal’s behavior during times of conflict.

The outcome of Pádraig Ó Tuama's residency at Columbia will be a publication that will pair 35 poems with insight about conflict - connecting them with major themes expressed in the award-winning Handbook of Conflict Resolution: Theory and Practice (2014). This includes conflict between individuals; conflict in groups; ambivalent responses to conflict; regression, aggression, and resistance; cooperation and negotiation; as well as conflict as a state of existence in the current climate crisis. Ground Rules will explore what it means to be grounded in human emotion, in physical space, in historical and post-colonial contexts, and in collaboration with each other for the purpose of moving towards flourishing and creativity.

Pádraig Ó Tuama presents Poetry Unbound from On Being, a podcast that began in early 2020. Just about to start its fourth season in the Fall of 2021, this podcast has already exceeded six million downloads. A book from the podcast is forthcoming (October 2021) from WW Norton.

Pádraig Ó Tuama’s published work includes poetry (Readings from the Book of Exile, Sorry for your Troubles, Canterbury Press 2012 and 2013), Theology (Daily Prayer and Borders and Belonging; Canterbury Press 2017 and 2021) and memoir In the Shelter (Broadleaf Books, 2021). A former leader of Corrymeela, Ireland’s oldest peace organisation, he combines interest in language, religion and conflict in all his written work. A frequent guest on long-form radio, his interviews have been featured on national broadcasters in Ireland, the UK, the USA, Australia and New Zealand. His poems have been published in the Harvard Review, Gutter, Cream City Review, Poetry Ireland and many more. Alongside multiple professional accreditations in conflict mediation, Ó Tuama holds a BA and MTh in Theology, and is a current PhD candidate in the School of Critical Studies at the University of Glasgow, exploring poetry and prayer under the supervision of Prof Heather Walton and Dr Samuel Tongue.

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