Blog

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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…

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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…

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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…

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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….

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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…

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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…

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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…

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Poems

Curated Poems, chosen by The Poetry School Staff.

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…

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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…

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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…

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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…

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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…

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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…

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‘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…

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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…

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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,…

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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.

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…

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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…

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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…

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Poet Laureate, Simon Armitage, and The Poetry School launch The Laurel Prize

We are delighted to be able to announce the launch of The Laurel Prize and honoured to be collaborating with Poet Laureate, Simon Armitage on one of his headline projects. The Laurel Prize will be an award for the best collection of environmental, ecopoetry, or nature poetry. The Prize will further the discourse around climate…

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Hell and Back: Writing Addiction and Recovery

I am anxious to not use the term confessional poetry when talking about my upcoming course, because it seems to me a loaded term which some poets delight in and others shy away from. I don’t want this course to be an exercise in naval-gazing or self-indulgence – there already seems to be enough of…

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The Poetics of Space after Bachelard

“A house that has been experienced is not an inert box. Inhabited space transcends geometrical space.” My house is sometimes a chair I sit on in a different country, a tent, a beach, the woods I return to in photographs. My grandmother’s hand as it stirred her black tea. My children’s skin on my lips…

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Measure a Circle, Beginning Anywhere: Poetry Through a Fortean Lens

The Fortean Times has been my holiday treat for quite some time now. What could be better than spending a journey engaged in the peculiar, peripheral and puzzling? Let’s get some of the stereotypes out of the way: tinfoil hats; incessant alien abductions; a willingness to believe any madcap conspiracy on offer; an obsession with The X-Files. (That…

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Spring 2020 Term Courses Are Now LIVE

We are delighted to announce that our Spring 2020 courses are now UP and BOOKABLE! Below is a quick guide of all of the courses that have opened for booking today. Note: We expect many of our courses to sell out very fast, so make sure to secure your place on your favourite course or courses today!…

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Review: ‘Whip-Hot & Grippy’ by Heather Phillipson

Heather Phillipson’s Whip-Hot & Grippy is a nightmarish, lurid inventory of news cycles, junk food, sex, bodies, and failed communication ‘come to thrash the living daylights out of you’. If 2016 was the year that Heather Phillipson ‘lost [her] sense of humour’ (by her own account), 2019 is the year she has channelled nihilism and…

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