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Course Quick Guide – Autumn 2018

Face-to-Face Courses London Three Term Courses: The first term of our flagship year-long courses (3 x 10 week terms)   The Poet’s Toolkit (Autumn 2018) with Shazea Quraishi Explore poetry’s inner workings, hone your craft, and take a close look at various forms and techniques to help your poems achieve lift-off.   Pamphlet / Portfolio…

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Review: ‘Venus as a Bear’ by Vahni Capildeo

My favourite Capildeo moment (that I’ve come across in print) is in a TLS ‘20 questions’ interview from December of last year when in response to ‘Jacques Derrida or Judith Butler?’, the Douglas Caster Cultural Fellow in Poetry at Leeds University came back with ‘Ursula LeGuin. And David Bowie.’ What appeals to me most in…

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Review: ‘Electric Arches’ by Eve Ewing

In a recent reading, Eve Ewing quoted the Black Liberation Army leader Assata Shakur: “Black Revolutionaries do not drop from the moon. We are created by our conditions.” Ewing agreed with Shakur, but then went on to ask: what if they did drop from the moon? This is the premise of the opening poem of…

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Review: ‘Soho’ by Richard Scott

By turns explicit and playful, elegiac and defiant, Richard Scott’s Soho draws on the fiercer traditions of queer poetry without ultimately depending on those who have gone before. The result is a debut not bound by allegiance to some generalised category but liberated by joy and clear execution. Soho is not necessarily inseparable from London’s…

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Archiving Your Self Yourself: an interview with James Davies

James Davies is interviewed by James Davies – his uncannily named next-door neighbour – about his upcoming course for Poetry School, Archiving Your Self Yourself: Quantified Self Studio James Davies:  Hi there James. How are things this morning? James Davies:  Really really great James. Right now I’m dandy. I’m usually dandy. I see the birds….

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Review: ‘The Built Environment’ by Emily Hasler

Epigraphs often function as concise statements of intent, subtly staking out the territory and interests of a collection. Emily Hasler’s The Built Environment (Liverpool University Press) begins with a quote from Nan Shepard’s The Living Mountain acknowledging the wonderful tension between what we know and what we cannot know of the natural world, which for Shepard…

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We’re Hiring an Office Administrator – Join the Team!

Office Administrator We’re looking for an administrator with responsibility for the development of systems supporting course programme delivery. This a fixed-term, full-time post providing administrative support to the Poetry School’s core course programme, with additional responsibility for assessing and developing the systems supporting the delivery of the School’s programme, including its web-based databases. In the…

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Poems

Curated Poems, chosen by The Poetry School Staff.

Review: ‘Who Is Mary Sue?’ by Sophie Collins

I admit, I experienced intense feelings of estrangement and disruptedness during my first reading of Who Is Mary Sue? (Faber).  A kind of physical, alienating panic took hold and I struggled with a sense of being constantly dislodged from my usual reading habits and processes. The allusive, allegorical mode is realised through a very quiet approach…

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Summer School 2018

Get your towels ready, it’s about to go down! Our Summer School is back, and this year is better than ever. So dust off that bathing suit and dive into a week of half-day workshops running 23 – 27 July. This time around we’ve collaborated with Rachel Long, poet and founder of Octavia – Poetry…

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Ginkgo Prize for Ecopoetry Open for Entries!

The Poetry School are delighted to announce the Ginkgo Prize for Ecopoetry. The Ginkgo Prize, formerly known as the Resurgence Prize, is a major international award for poems embracing ecological themes. The judges are poet and Poetry School co-founder Mimi Khalvati and another judge soon to be announced. The first prize is £5,000, second prize…

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Review: ‘Pamper Me To Hell & Back’ by Hera Lindsay Bird

The review of Hera Lindsay Bird’s pamphlet Pamper Me To Hell & Back that I’d really like to write, my ideal review, would be a long list of the poems’ flaws and failings, a whole bunch of intellectual and even occasionally personal criticism, and then at the end there’d be a very large, badly lit…

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Review: ‘A Perfect Mirror’ by Sarah Corbett

Exploring themes of location and dislocation, Sarah Corbett’s A Perfect Mirror (Liverpool University Press) finds connections in unlikely spaces, refracting global concerns through local attachments. This short collection finds its genius loci in the landscapes of West Yorkshire and the English Lake District, but its thematic concerns are much broader: seeking to create resonances with both…

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Review: ‘City of Bones: A Testament’ by Kwame Dawes

I read City of Bones (Northwestern University Press), over 200 pages of poems, in one sitting. I was completely held by this heart-full incantation, this uncompromising, philosophical and allusive series of narrative, lyrical and elegiac poems that ventriloquise the ‘multitudes of souls urgently and forcefully singing, shouting, groaning, and dreaming about the African diasporic present and future.’…

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Review: ‘An Ocean of Static’ by J.R. Carpenter

In between the billows of foaming brine, tucked away behind stacks of salt, lurks the pearl of a poetic endeavour completely unlike any other. An Ocean of Static (Penned in the Margins) is the debut collection by digital writer J.R. Carpenter, whose cryptic stream of ever-shifting code spectacularly reinvents the seascape. From the late 15th century…

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Primers: Volume Four Mentoring and Publication Scheme Open for Entries

The Poetry School and Nine Arches Press are excited to announce that Primers Volume Four is now open for entries. Primers is an annual mentoring and publication scheme organised by the Poetry School and Nine Arches Press. It provides a unique opportunity for talented poets to find publication and receive a programme of supportive feedback,…

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’17 Forensic Ways I Know You’

D18S51, There is no-one like you. There is a 1 in a quintillion chance of there being someone like you, but still not you. I would know, with every sense I would know D21S11, I could pick the bouquet of your sweaty t-shirt from a line-up of sweaty t-shirts D3S1358, Who else would naturally select…

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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.

What is a Metic Poet?

The question most writers ask me at the beginning of a Metics workshop is ‘What is a Metic?’.   The simple answer usually is: You are! A fish does not know it’s a fish until it leaves the water. The term ‘Metic’ means a foreigner whose allegiances are split between their homeland and their new country. Metic is a Greek word, which we might…

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Review: ‘The White Book’ by Han Kang (trans. Deborah Smith)

This new book in English from South Korean writer Han Kang may be hard to categorise but it does have a story, which should reassure anyone worried that a text on the colour white (or non-colour white, depending on how you look at it) will be insubstantial. As it turns out, this diary-cum-sketchbook may be…

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‘The Specular City’

The city caught me in strings of orange light. I left behind those still and airless years in which counting each slow hour of suburban dark I sat, wanting my life to take new shape. And so many silences, and the glances of strangers – cold weights on the skin I struggled beneath. Neons, night…

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Ledbury Emerging Critics: Dzifa Benson reviews ‘Natural Phenomena’ by Meryl Pugh

Meryl Pugh is the award-winning author of two previous pamphlets, Relinquish and The Bridle, but Natural Phenomena (Penned in the Margins), her eagerly anticipated first full poetry collection, opens up new ground in the poet’s oeuvre. In the blurb, Pugh is described as “both futurist and flâneuse.” The future and society’s relationship to consumerism concern…

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‘How to go home’

Drive back to the house where you were born. Open her old cookbook, press your fingers onto her pen’s scrawl. Take tweezers: tease a hair from your old doll’s clothes. Play a hymn, its melody clear as light

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‘Being a true account of the voyage of Vincenzo Lunardi’

Fire Late September morning, and a chill in the Edinburgh air, but the gathering crowds are warm with wonder, and the ladies feverish for the hot-blooded adventurer – the man who knows how to fly. Thirty bottles of oil of vitriol into a vat of iron filings, and the limp sack of silk expands and…

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Ledbury Emerging Critics: Jennifer Lee Tsai reviews ‘Three Poems’ by Hannah Sullivan

Within the context of contemporary poetry and modern poetic form, how does one begin to describe or characterise ‘free verse’? As an academic, Hannah Sullivan’s critical exploration of this question is evident in her stated research interests. She argues that ‘the prosody of modern poetry is, to a large extent, determined by practices of lexical…

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‘Fairy Tales and Stepmonsters’

I wish I’d held your hand more often. it would have been easy. I wish I’d worried less and made a nest of my fingers for it to curl inside, it used to slip into mine anyway. Do you remember the models we made out of cardboard and paper? Rockets and market stalls and castles…

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Talking Back: Poetry, Dialogue and Voice

In her 2017 collection Stranger Baby, Emily Berry stages a dialogue between voices living and dead, a sort of haunted (and haunting) psychodrama, both intimate and fiercely private: “I wish you would put some kind of distortion on my voice,” says the speaker in ‘The End’, “so people don’t know it’s me.” This is poetry…

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