Blog

All of our Blog Posts

Autumn 2020 – Quick Course Guide

The leaves are green and the sun is still shining, but we’re already looking forward to the Autumn Term here at the Poetry School! Our Autumn Term is now live and we’ve got a whole host of brilliant tutors and courses lined up, so be sure to book promptly to avoid disappointment. Below is our…

Read More

Voices of the Sea

People – and especially poets – have always been fascinated by the sea. We see it as a powerful metaphor for strong emotion or for the unconscious. We are drawn by its power, its changing moods, its promise of adventure. There are many ways in which we look at the sea. And those are the…

Read More

‘Come to Where I’m From’

‘Come to where I’m from.’ So writes Glyn Maxwell in his masterpiece of place, ‘Birthplace’, from his 2013 collection Pluto. The great energy of the poem, its enormous historic sweep, is a great advertisement for what place can do for a poem – or for what this poet can do for any subject at all….

Read More

Review: ‘Letters Home’ by Jennifer Wong

‘Home’ is a contentious word. Both personal and political, ‘home’ implies belonging, and not belonging.  In Robert Frost’s ‘Death of the Hired Man’, ‘Home is the place where, when you have to go there, / They have to take you in’. But is that place where we live, where we were born, where our family…

Read More

Review: ‘The Air Year’ by Caroline Bird

When was the last time you were asked to do the impossible?  Caroline Bird’s essay ‘The Discipline of Getting Lost: On the Impossibility of Poems’ (in the Nine Arches anthology The Craft) speaks of freeing yourself to write poetry by accepting how impossible it is to put your soul down on paper. Resonant of Ben…

Read More

MA in Writing Poetry Scholarship 2020 Now Open For Entries

We’re delighted to announce that, for the second year running, Newcastle University is offering a scholarship award worth £7,800 (full fees) for an outstanding applicant to the Poetry School / Newcastle MA in Writing Poetry for 2020/21 entry. The Scholarship will be awarded on a competitive basis to applicants who have already accepted an offer of a place for…

Read More

Coronavirus: How Will It Affect My Studies?

As you know, here at Poetry School we treat the well-being and health of our community extremely seriously. As a result of the current COVID-19 pandemic, we have decided that the safest and best way forward for all of us over the next few weeks is to close the physical School. This does not mean…

Read More

Poems

Curated Poems, chosen by The Poetry School Staff.

Review: ‘RENDANG’ by Will Harris

To understand Will Harris’s RENDANG, I keep coming back to the poem ‘The White Jumper’, which appears at the end of the collection’s first section. It’s a poem of fragments, puzzle-pieces which expand to bear meaning on the rest of the poems in subtle, complex ways. The poem opens with a figure ‘running and jumping…

Read More

This Goes There, That Comes After: List Poems

I Remember by Joe Brainard is the first poem I think about when I think about list poems. It’s a book-length poem consisting of a series of statements, all of which begin with the refrain ‘I remember’. Here’s an example: I remember planning to tear page 48 out of every book I read from the…

Read More

Course Quick Guide: Summer 2020

Our Summer Term is live! Welcome to our handy Quick Guide, where you’ll find everything you’ll need to know about our upcoming courses… Face-to-Face  Workshops: One and two day intensive classes May the Verse be with You: Poetry Inspired by Star Wars with Chrissy Williams Odes to the moon are something of a poetic cliché these days….

Read More

Roddy Lumsden 1966–2020

As we’re sure that most of you reading this are already aware, Roddy Lumsden very sadly passed away on January 10th 2020, after a long period of illness. In his passing, the poetry world has lost a true titan. Roddy was an acclaimed and innovative poet, an inspirational educator, a generous mentor, and a fastidious…

Read More

Review: ‘WITCH’ by Rebecca Tamás

WITCH is rude, raucous, shocking, intellectually bracing, sophisticated, messy, anti-dogmatic, and sexy. It’s a thrilling, visceral and totally unexpected collection, which redefines the possibilities for poetic language in the twenty-first century. If that sounds like hype to you, get ready to be sucker-punched. The figure of the witch is an eternally potent archetype for many…

Read More

The Air in a Room is Cut & Looped

Working with sound has freed up creative possibilities for my writing and made for joyful collaborations that push me to experiment with how I curate and present material. The soundtext ‘Eating Trends’ embedded here is a manipulation of my own raw personal data. ‘Eating Trends’ by Antosh Wojcik The piece begins with my washing machine…

Read More

Where Words Meet Music

Put a spring in your step with our latest Easter Extra programme: Where Words Meet Music – a brand new 6-week course where you will think about what poems and songs can learn from each other and get creative to inspire new ways of approaching your writing. The course will be steered by singer and…

Read More

The Poem That Travelled the World

Sometimes a poem has the freedom to travel from mouth to mouth, page to page, screen to screen, and arrive at places the poet has neither been to or even imagined. This is the case with Warsan Shire’s poem ‘Home’, one of the poems we will explore in the upcoming course ‘The bravest people on…

Read More

Poetry & Advertising Studio

Even if it seems an improbable one, the association between poetry and advertising is not a new one. As it often happens when you have a new idea, someone else has had it before. In my case, it’s S. I. Hayakawa, who published an article titled “Poetry and Advertising” as early as January 1946. So, 74…

Read More

Get acquainted with Campus

Create an Account with us today to become part of our exclusive Campus for Poets where you’ll be able to start enrolling in courses and mingle with other poets.

Writing the Self: Performance & Sacrifice with Nisha Ramayya

In Indo-European Poetry and Myth, philologist M. L. West traces links between poets and priests in the Indo-European language family, from Old Irish, Welsh, and German, to Greek, Avestan, and Sanskrit. He begins with a simple thesis statement: ‘all peoples at all times have had poetry and song.’ Understanding poetry and poetic language as language…

Read More

Poetry Books of the Year 2019

Well, it’s been a remarkable year for poetry and the Poetry School. So remarkable, in fact, that we haven’t had time to do full justice to our annual best-of-the-year list. Worry not: we’ve managed to scrabble together enough time not spent in poetic reverie or arguing over kerning to recommend fifty-two of the year’s finest…

Read More

Claiming the Margin as Centre

‘To be in the margin is to be part of the whole but outside the main body’ says bell hooks in the preface to Feminist Theory: from Margin to Centre. hooks’ statement elucidates the duality that comes with a position at the margin. You are looking both out and in at the same time. Looking…

Read More

‘Go to the Zoo’: on Writing About Animals

A couple of weeks ago, I came across this recording of Greta Stoddart reading her poem ‘Errand’. I love the poem, and I love her introduction to it. Describing a time when Rilke was suffering from a sort of writer’s block, she talks about Rodin’s advice to him: ‘Go to the zoo. And stand in…

Read More

Poetry as Oral Storytelling

It’s always interested me what the essence is, of what gets performed when a poem gets performed. It doesn’t seem good enough to say it’s play: I wouldn’t watch just anyone playing. I might share a specialist interest with the person who’s playing. But how would watching them playing give me satisfaction? Wouldn’t I want…

Read More

In the Same House: Poetry of Caregiving

“In illness words seem to possess a mystic quality. We grasp what is beyond their surface meaning, gather instinctively this, that, and the other – a sound, a colour, here a stress, there a pause – which the poet, knowing words to be meagre in comparison with ideas, has strewn about his page to evoke,…

Read More

Review: ‘Arias’ by Sharon Olds

Arias is a collection that sings both because of death and in spite of it. In this song of herself, Sharon Olds locates the pain that gives rise to song, offering readers the depth of perspective and celebration of life that the end of life can bring. The paperback version of Arias has a satisfying…

Read More

Review: ‘The Craft: A Guide to Making Poetry Happen in the 21st Century’, edited by Rishi Dastidar

24 essays on how poetry happens in the twenty-first century provide rich nourishment for curious readers and aspirational writers alike. Rishi Dastidar wants you to revel in the possibilities thrown-up by poem-making. Recognising that, ‘to write poetry today, you need to be thinking about more than just your technical, prosodic abilities’, The Craft comes with…

Read More

We are hiring!

We are currently looking for an enthusiastic arts or business graduate who wants to join our friendly team in Canada Water as our new Digital Programming and Marketing Assistant, and an exceptional Finance and Operations Officer to work closely with the executive director to ensure the growth and development of the School at this exciting…

Read More