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Review: ‘The Toll’ by Luke Wright

Luke Wright is at his forceful best in this state-of-the-nation adventure that is far darker than its jaunty rhythms and bell-like rhymes might suggest. The first poem of The Toll (Penned in the Margins), which serves as a kind of epigraph, carries the refrain ‘Oh England, heal my hackneyed heart’, and is one of the…

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Re: Review: ‘You Have A Visitor’ by William Wootten

William Wootten’s You Have a Visitor (Worple) shows an impressive mastery of a range of forms working in the tradition of Auden and Gunn. Sequenced around the seasons, You Have a Visitor begins with ‘Reveille’ in which ‘Day comes up cold,’ and works through ‘Easter Tide’, ‘Of Late June’ and the harvests of autumn, to a charming…

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Review: ‘The Watermark’ by Alice Anderson

I think of myself as pretty much unshockable, but there are, for me, some gasp-worthy moments in this unflinching collection from Alice Anderson. Set in the American South, The Watermark is an apparently confessional book and almost every element of Anderson’s world is refracted through a lens of sex and violence. This is the story…

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CAMPUS Pamphlet: ‘all that’s ever happened’

Make room on your digital bookshelves for the latest in our series of flicky PDF pamphlets, a series in which we celebrate the talents of the students taking place in our courses and projects. The New North Poets are a group of talented new writers who have come to the Poetry School via New Writing…

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Poetry and Visual Art: Gallery Day Schedule – 18th February

This is the finalised schedule for the gallery day of Tamar Yoseloff’s Poetry and Visual Art two-day course. You can find more details of the course here. 10:30am:              Gagosian, 6-24 Britannia Street (off Grays Inn Road) London WC1X 9JD King’s Cross / St Pancras Tube / Rail – Euston Road exit (10 mins) Richard…

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Review: ‘Psalmody’ by Maria Apichella

Maria Apichella’s first collection, Psalmody (Eyewear), ends on a note of quiet, confident affirmation:   I can’t play the sax I can’t bang the drum I can’t work the flute I can’t pick the harp but I can respond.   Apichella’s tough, lyrical psalm-poems celebrate the virtue of responsiveness, suggesting the possibility of a deeper,…

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Poetry School 1215.today Paid Digital Residency – Open for Applications!

1215.today, in collaboration with The Poetry School, want to identify a poet for a six-week digital residency with the 1215.today site to begin at the end of April, through May 2017. The chosen poet will receive £1,000. 1215.today commemorates 800 years of the Magna Carta in an online platform that gives young people a space…

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Poems

Curated Poems, chosen by The Poetry School Staff.

Review: ‘Speak from Here to There’ by Kwame Dawes & John Kinsella

‘We co-exist.’ Speak from Here to There (Peepal Tree Press) begins with this claim, followed by a description:   The York gum bark is stripping itself off, shiny skin underneath exposed to the sun. Late summer – summers that won’t end – and it seems to be a statement, much more than restating a habit, a well-researched…

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Review: ‘The Number Poems’ by Matthew Welton

The relation between what we see and what we know is never settled. Each evening we see the sun set. We know that the earth is turning away from it. Yet the knowledge, the explanation, never quite fits the sight. John Berger, Ways of Seeing   The Book of Numbers is like an artist’s sketch…

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‘Trixie Might: No More Baristas’

There are millions of baristas in rumbo countries who would love to hobble in fluidness. Sure, the best baristas love countries – BUT where there is typhotoxin / the right way to help is not. Rumbo + typhotoxin = hobble – help. Not millions… MILLIONS! The nippy and squealing effect of high steam is close…

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Review: ‘Moon For Sale’ by Richard Price

Moon for Sale does not pander to, or patronise, its reader and often reading the poems you become aware you are in the presence of a mind working much more quickly and sharply than your own. If, like me, vast swathes of your reading diet consists of fairly orthodox lyrical poetry, then it might serve…

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Battle of the Somme Poetry Residency Performance

A few months ago we invited applications for a collaboration opportunity with Simon Barraclough to commemorate the Battle of the Somme. The ten poets selected have been busy writing poems and will perform them at a special event in London on Saturday 4 February. This is our contribution to the UK-wide cultural commemorations of the…

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‘Witness’

I am trying to hear the cow’s story, but it is thin and acrid as the stream of piss and fear from the back of a cattle truck pitching between hedges on the abattoir road. I am trying to hear the cow’s story, but all I have seen with my own eyes is the cluster…

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‘The Cutter’

Anyone bold enough can find the booth in Ho Ping Lane, twin shutters opened out like wings heart strung with keys and locks of every kind, tinkling promises in the sultry wind. Deep inside the master cutter squats, squints as he selects a blank to suit your purpose. He spins his wheel, its sharp teeth…

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The Long Read: Reflections on a Poetry in Aldeburgh Residency

In Autumn 2016 we advertised for applications for Poet in Residence at the inaugural Poetry in Aldeburgh Festival. Ben Rogers was subsequently put into position and undertook a month full of research, interviews, writing prompts and poems. We asked him to provide his reflections on this mammoth task in the hope it might prove useful to…

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‘Briony Grist: Let’s be clear about the challenges we face with ermits.’

First and foremost, we should be concerned about ermits obtaining cilicious books – underperforming mystics must improve or they will merit cryogenic sealing – no one benefits from hirsute heresies. Look, until such day as they can safely be released into runnels, their otherness and thick fur folios must be cauterised, curried, and caked in…

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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.

Melting identities: does it matter where you are from?

There is no doubt about it: the world is changing, and changing quickly. As people travel from one place to another to work or live, they create increasingly multicultural communities where different ideas, customs and languages interact, combine and clash. In London, for example, the streets are filled with the cadences of different dialects as people…

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‘To the wild boar swimming in Victoria Harbour’

My call to you the outlaw who got your way to play in our water, in front of so many eyes, without paying taxes or having sweated your butt off for a job, The rogue who tusked down rules of traffic, burst through fences, skirted CCTV and mobile snapshots just to cool the bites of…

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Poetry School Announced as Headline Partner for Poetry in Aldeburgh

As guests at last year’s inaugural Poetry in Aldeburgh Festival, the Poetry School hosted residencies, readings and competitions. Ben Rogers, who was our Festival Poet in Residence, describes his highlights here. We are very pleased to announce that we’ll be back for the 2017 Festival  – this time as Headline partners. Make a diary note…

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‘Me, Myself and (Not) I’: An Interview with Saradha Soobrayen

Ahead of her Spring Term course ‘Me, Myself and (Not) I‘, we caught up with poet Saradha Soobrayen. AL: Hi Saradha. Your new course with us is called ‘Me, Myself and (Not) I’. Could you tell us what prompted the ideas for the course? SS: Last year I was working on the Poetry Library’s Open…

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Mixed Borders: Poet in Residence Training – Apply Now!

Lover of flowers and/or vegetables? Want some poet-in-residence training? Read on, we have an opportunity for you! For the last two years, the Poetry School and London Parks and Gardens Trust have teamed up for a poet-in-residence training scheme centred on London’s Gardens. We call the scheme ‘Mixed Borders’. “I felt like the training greatly…

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Pattern is not an algorithm: on poetry and pattern

Pattern in poetry is not just an algorithm at work, i.e., ‘the poem that writes itself’. In fact, it might be said that anything that writes itself, whether it be a moral code, a way of handling people, an approach of giving a percentage of income to charity, is bound for trouble. We live in…

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To Sea in a Sieve: The Joy of Writing Children’s Poetry

Whenever I talk about children’s poetry, I end up using the word ‘joy’. Multiple times. Sometimes I throw in a ‘delight’ or two as well. I’ll do that here, too, because it’s the key point I want to get across: it is a total joy to read, write and perform children’s poetry, and one I…

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Review: ‘The Met Office Advises Caution’ by Rebecca Watts

Reading Rebecca Watts’ first collection, I’m reminded of a phrase by D. M. Black who, talking about the Scottish poet Robert Garioch, advised readers to be careful in approaching his work, because beneath the quiet exterior ‘passions burn’. The same can be said of Watts’ initially disarming and unassuming poems that soon give way to…

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The Poetry School Books of the Year 2016

Although not, by popular consensus, a brilliant year generally, 2016 has been a good year for poetry: sales of poetry books topped £10m for the first time, a poet – Warsan Shire – featured on Beyonce’s latest album, Penguin reopened its poetry list, and, for the second year in a row, the Forward Prizes were…

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