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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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Ledbury Emerging Poetry Critic Review: ‘Whereas’ by Layli Long Soldier

Layli Long Soldier’s debut poetry collection, Whereas (Picador) roots through the vocabularies it employs, carefully tracing its linguistic inheritances. Long Soldier is a citizen of the Oglala Lakota Nation, and is keenly aware of the power – and lack thereof – that language can command. Whereas is split into two parts. Part I, ‘These Being…

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Xriss Xross: A Report

Poetry can spring up in the most unlikely places – even Zone 3. For Xriss Xross, a free one-day writing festival, the Poetry School took over RAW Labs, an airy studio space at a fringe of the DLR that many Londoners (this one included) will never have visited before. It was the perfect setting for…

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Applications open for paid internship at the Poetry School

About the role At the Poetry School, we believe that a career in the literary world should be an option for anyone, regardless of background, and not just the privileged few. What is more, we believe in true diversity of voices and that this can only be achieved by an industry whose workforce more accurately…

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Ledbury Emerging Poetry Critic Review: ‘The Caiplie Caves’ by Karen Solie

Time and place are the central nodes of Karen Solie’s The Caiplie Caves (2019), a three-part poetic narrative traversing human life, both historical and modern, through the spatial lens of the geographic region around the titular Caiplie Caves. Solie begins with an invocation of John Berger’s Ways of Seeing: ‘The past is not for living…

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Ledbury Emerging Poetry Critic Review: ‘The Million-Petalled Flower of Being Here’ by Vidyan Ravinthiran

Vidyan Ravinthiran’s second collection – a private sonnet series to his wife, the writer Jenny Holden – is at once a succession of private missives to a private love, and arranged, as a sequence, to portray the sum total of the day to day in a marriage between two writers, a brown person and a…

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Poems

Curated Poems, chosen by The Poetry School Staff.

Ledbury Emerging Poetry Critic Review: ‘Surge’ by Jay Bernard

It is noteworthy that the first word of the opening poem in Surge (Chatto), Jay Bernard’s searing debut, is remember. Here is a collection against forgetfulness; a refutation of any presumption that the past is the past at all. Set between the pillars of two disasters, the New Cross Fire of 1981, which claimed the…

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Written With a Wet Rock

When writing is hard and the poems are turning stony-faced and slow, I tell myself there are so many things harder and slower to hold onto than a poem: first, a breath, and second, a stone. I take one good, deep breath and let it go. Then I take one good, deep lump of time…

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Review: ‘Flèche’ by Mary Jean Chan

How do you learn to love when you’re versed in the ways of war? Equal parts sinister Aesop’s Fable, lived experience, and fairy tale with a twist, Flèche invites readers into a labyrinth of longing. There’s an ongoing war across generations, between mother and daughter, in Mary Jean Chan’s debut collection, Flèche. But the battles…

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The Personable Political

So you’re in a writing workshop, one of those all day affairs where you do some exercises in the morning and have a communal critique in the afternoon. You’ve written 3 bad poems, 1 seed of something, and poem that flew from your pen or fingertips so naturally that you have no idea where it…

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How Poetry Burns

I had just turned 18 when I moved out of my childhood home and into an apartment with my boyfriend. Although I hoped my young relationship would last, there was something in me that said my treasured objects would be safer at home. Built by my grandfather for my grandmother after World War II, it…

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Memory, History, Loss, & Gains

If, like me, you believe that uncovering untold histories – whether personal, familial, or national – is important, and a vital part of the poet’s work, then join me for a day of reading and discussing poets who do just that. A few months ago, I was in a workshop with Bernardine Evaristo and the…

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A Far-Off Land: Finding More Folklore

In the west, epic myths, remnants of religions past, are revered, re-translated and researched, but folktales and fairy tales are often written off as children’s stories. Scrappy, grisly, lowbrow and deceptively simple, many of them do indeed serve as warnings to children: don’t wander alone in the woods, boast or steal. But these stories, passed…

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Review: ‘Reckless Paper Birds’ by John McCullough

To understand the weight of being bodied, All the swollen and tender exchanges That ground me here among the living (‘A Floating Head’) There is a powerful sense of tension between body and soul in John McCullough’s absorbing third collection, Reckless Paper Birds. The human body and brain can be a prison; they are both…

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Review: ‘Handling Stolen Goods’ by Degna Stone

Interrogating the prejudice of race and class, Degna Stone’s spellbinding third pamphlet, Handling Stolen Goods (Peepal Tree Press), reveals a disturbing bond between the body and the world around it, and strives to break this down through bold, determined struggle. Whilst human interactions stand at the heart of Stone’s poems (‘We spend our time having…

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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: ‘Rock, Paper, Scissors’ by Richard Osmond

Richard Osmond’s Rock, Paper, Scissors is a collection wherein violence and trauma has disrupted the social fabric to the extent that reality becomes a game of signs. Like the trickster of myths and fables, this collection undermines authority and convention. The three principle signs of this collection are excerpts from Beowulf, Qur’ānic extracts and Osmond’s…

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Review: ‘Girlhood’ by Julia Copus

There is a theory in earth sciences known as the Gaia Hypothesis that propounds that the earth and everything upon it (though, crucially, perhaps not including ‘us’) acts as a synergetic, self-regulating organism. The idea being that the earth acts as its own immune system, but also as its own ‘reset’, so to speak. Dangers…

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Twisted Love

In one of his Lunch Poems, Frank O’Hara describes reading the poetry of a new friend. Is this love? he asks, sounding uncertain. He feels held in the hands of the poem, experiencing poetry as a form of intimacy or attempted intimacy. This course came about because I realised, simply, that the love poem –…

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A Song for Occupations: In Praise of Work

What shall we do with work? Curse it, hate it, make escape plans from it, call in sick to it, write apologetic e-mails to it, still we find, every morning, we have to do it. And more than that, work does things to us: decides what time we’ll rise, how well we sleep, the folk…

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General Impression of Size and Shape: Poetry & Birds

I grew up with birds. And what I really mean there is, I grew up with a birdwatcher father who liked to tell us what every bird was, and how you might distinguish it from any other bird. From an early age I was watching birds on the bird feeder in the garden, delighting in…

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Review: ‘Significant Other’ by Isabel Galleymore

Isabel Galleymore’s debut collection, Significant Other (Carcanet) is a vividly detailed poetic chronicle of some of the world’s most fascinating species. The first poet-in-residence at Tambopata Research Centre in the Amazon Rainforest, Galleymore forages with wide-eyed fascination in search of new poetic ground. Underpinned by the desire to discover new ways of describing the natural…

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Adrian Street, The Early Years

I was fighting for my life even before I was born, nearly strangled at birth by my umbilical cord. By four I was re-enacting Little Bighorn, hunting Custer through the hills of Gwent, while Dad was hunted through Singapore by the Japanese. I gathered pieces of downed German bombers to build my own plane and…

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Psycho Gastro Studio

When I told a friend of mine I was going to be tutoring a course titled Psycho Gastro Studio, they asked me what that actually meant. In response I started telling the following story from my life: Many years ago I was on a bus from Leeds, where I had been visiting family, down to…

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Narrow Road, Deep North

The first time I felt Northern was at the Students’ Union bar of the University of Chester. I’d recently moved there from South Shields and was taken aback when the barman couldn’t understand my order. ‘Do you mean Coors?’ ‘Aye, pint of Coors, please.’ There are two syllables in that particular brand of lager: coo-aaz….

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