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Review: ‘Hello. Your Promise Has Been Extracted’ by Ahren Warner

Though you might not recognise it, history is here again. They say the European project is coming apart, and I suppose time will tell. In the meantime, the least an artist can do is to try to bear witness. A wave is crashing over this century as it crashed over the last, and while there…

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Now Hear This: A Mixtape

To celebrate our upcoming course, Now Hear This: Percussion, Tune and the Poetics of Hip Hip, our tutor and MC, Eric Berlin, has kindly put together this mixtape of the best tracks from his favourite lyricists in the game. It’s a great way to fend off these slate grey, droopy January days. If this doesn’t…

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Poetry School Books of the Year 2017

What were your top five poetry books of the year? What about top one hundred? Despite a rumour to the contrary… this year has been an alarmingly thick one for poetry. Stupefyingly thick. Not simply coats-the-back-of-a-spoon thick, but thick-enough-to-stand-up-in-a-straw thick, cutting-off-oxygen-flow-thick, a year so thick with great poetry you could re-mortar Dame Mary Archer’s 1683 residence, The Old Vicarage…

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Poetry School Christmas Sale – 25% Off Selected Courses!

Treat yourself or a friend with 25% off a selection of our Spring short courses in Manchester, Exeter, Bristol and London. Just use the code PUDDING at the checkout stage online to receive your discount! ❄ Digital Poetry with Maya Chowdhry (Manchester) – Was £90, Now £67.50 🎁 The Poetry of Rubbish with John Wedgwood…

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‘Letting Your Avant-Garde Down’ – An Interview with Caleb Parkin

Ahead of his new course in Bristol, Letting Your Avant-Garde Down, we spoke to this year’s National Poetry Competition second prize winner Caleb Parkin. Ali Lewis: Hi Caleb! You’re running a new five-week course with us called Letting Your Avant-Garde Down. Can you tell us a bit about it? Caleb Parkin: The term ‘avant-garde’ is a…

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Digital Poetry Beyond the Prehistoric

I think digital poetry is a genre that can offer poets exciting possibilities to create new work that explores and expands language. And that’s what I’m aiming to do with my new course at the Poetry School. After tweeting about the course and some debate on social media I’ve taken to blogging, because you really…

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‘The Emptiness of Things’

I pour you into notebooks, stacking them on my nightstand next to the clock, candle, matches– hoping the emptiness of things will rub off on you. Ripping out pages, I burn them one by one, only to discover you’ve settled in corners and on dishes and found your way into the spines of books. Across…

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Poems

Curated Poems, chosen by The Poetry School Staff.

‘The Park’

In matching green anoraks, rain or shine, they walk here every morning, she a little taller than he, leaning on his arm, three times clockwise round the park, keeping themselves to themselves,   keeping to the path by the railings where once they saw a gang of young offenders plant daffodils; admire the clumps of…

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How I Did It: Michael Marks Award Special – Alyson Hallett on ‘crossing the sound’

Ahead of the Awards ceremony on Thursday 12th December, The Poetry School has asked the five poets shortlisted for this year’s Michael Marks Award for Poetry Pamphlets to discuss the writing process behind a poem from their award-nominated work. So far, Theophilus Kwek, Charlotte Wetton, Phoebe Stuckes and Omikemi Natacha Bryan have talked about their poems. In today’s final instalment –…

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How I Did It: Michael Marks Award Special – Omikemi Natacha Bryan on ‘Salt’

Ahead of the Awards ceremony on Thursday 12th December, The Poetry School has asked the five poets shortlisted for this year’s Michael Marks Award for Poetry Pamphlets to discuss the writing process behind a poem from their award-nominated work. So far, Theophilus Kwek, Charlotte Wetton, and Phoebe Stuckes have talked about their poems; today, Omikemi…

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The Poetry of Rubbish: Interview with John Wedgwood Clarke

  Next term, John Wedgwood Clarke will be teaching The Poetry of Rubbish, a five-session course in Exeter. Harriet David, an Oxford masters student who spent a week researching at The Poetry School, spoke to John about the course.     Harriet: Hi John. You spent two years as poet in residence at two Yorkshire rubbish sites;…

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‘Ice Storm’

Shuffling to the bus stop with the boyfriend who’d cut his visit short, cracked plastic wheels of his cheap suitcase juddering on the ice, I clutched at his coat sleeve and missed. Chin grazed, that deep-freeze smell up my nose, gloveless hands stinging. Close up: thousands of bubbles, suspended in ice. Beneath the cloudy layers,…

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How I Did It: Michael Marks Award Special – Phoebe Stuckes on ‘Mad Chicks Cool’

Ahead of the Awards ceremony on Thursday 12th December, The Poetry School has asked the five poets shortlisted for this year’s Michael Marks Award for Poetry Pamphlets to discuss the writing process behind a poem from their award-nominated work. So far, Theophilus Kwek and Charlotte Wetton have talked about their poems; today, Phoebe Stuckes shares the inspiration behind…

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On Writing Your Body, Outside In

What a strange thing it is to inhabit this gummy, flexible, porous, resilient, terrifying, exhilarating vessel from which we have no escape. Take a deep breath. Four seconds in (count them), and four seconds out (count them). What a different thing it is to purposefully concentrate on the one act we’ve done continuously since birth,…

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How I Did It: Michael Marks Award Special – Charlotte Wetton on ‘The Archivist’s House’

Ahead of the Awards ceremony on Thursday 12th December, The Poetry School has asked the five poets shortlisted for this year’s Michael Marks Award for Poetry Pamphlets to discuss the writing process behind a poem from their award-nominated work. Yesterday, Theophilus Kwek wrote about his poem, ‘The Crossing’; today, Charlotte Wetton talks us through her poem ‘The Archivist’s…

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Review: ‘Bear’ by Chrissy Williams

An enormous bear with piercing yellow eyes fills the cover of Chrissy Williams’ first full-length collection; stare for long enough and its neutral expression seems to shift from challenging to friendly to curious to sad, and back. The bear appears again in the opening poem – ‘Bear of the Artist’ – cementing its symbolic significance…

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How I Did It: Michael Marks Award Special – Theophilus Kwek on ‘The Crossing’

Ahead of the Awards ceremony on Thursday 12th December, The Poetry School has asked the five poets shortlisted for this year’s Michael Marks Award for Poetry Pamphlets to discuss the writing process behind a poem from their award-nominated work. First in the series, Theophilus Kwek writes about his poem, ‘The Crossing’.  Easter 2015. I am walking with…

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Sarala Estruch, Romalyn Ante and Aviva Dautch Selected for Primers Vol 3

Congratulations to Romalyn Ante, Sarala Estruch and Aviva Dautch, who have been selected for this year’s Primers! Each poet will receive mentoring from Hannah Lowe, editorial support from Jane Commane, and publication in Primers Volume Three with Nine Arches Press! Nine Arches editor and Primers judge, Jane Commane said: “Huge congratulations to our three finalists, and…

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Risking forms

One of the best things that a poem can do is that it can unsettle you. It may be a certain strangeness to do with its form or the voice, for instance, that keeps you thinking about what it says. Take, for instance, the creative decision Abigail Parry made, to begin her poem ‘Arterial’ (which…

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‘asana’

forward fold rolling down each vertebrae the top of the duvet until i’m a penknife or a nutcracker. swing elbows swing head. ensure the release. massage the belly by squeezing it on the thighs good for the guts. a gutsy move this one it makes the hamstrings shriek. a most decisive vulnerability. shift weight to…

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Review: ‘This Is Not a Rescue’ by Emily Blewitt

If Jane Austen was a modern Welsh poet, her name would be Emily Blewitt. This Is Not a Rescue (Seren) is an easy mix of dark and light, scooping its inspiration from the years between girlhood to marriage in Wales. These are old-fashioned yet ageless themes and Blewitt draws us in with her keen eye for…

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The Shadow of Violence

One Friday night, when I was fifteen, I got into a fight. More accurately: I bravely stood-up for a loudmouth friend and then bravely lay in the grass, while five men kicked my head in. This was nothing unusual for my mid-teens (or indeed my mid-twenties). The only difference being that this time I limped-off…

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Beyond the Self and Writing What You Don’t Know

‘Write what you know’ is the advice often given to new writers, and it’s true that our stories, or versions of the stories that haunt us, are the starting point for much of our writing.  If you are not Karl Ove Knausgaard, however, you may tire of your life story and yearn to transcend the limits…

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‘Half-empty’ by Romalyn Ante – Primers Shortlist 2017

‘The Philippines must be half-empty; you’re all here running the NHS’ – Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh Drug: Migrationazoline (available in full or half-empty bottles) Indications: ____– prophylaxis of parents who nag like masonry drills, ______saying they did not send you to college ______to be a health-centre volunteer ____– ulcers on the lips for eating…

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‘Baby’ by Amelia Loulli – Primers Shortlist 2017

Most people drown without _______making a noise or splashing. See me here Baby, watch me _______lying out plank, below the surface, all that stillness, all that _______peace, see how long I can breathe down here alone. You must _______trust me, I am your mother after all, don’t think about the firefighter who _______lies to the…

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