Blog

All of our Blog Posts

What Is a Poem?

Does a poem have to rhyme in order to be a poem? Does it have to have line breaks? Does it have to be about metaphysics or can it be about tin openers – can it be about both? Is a poem still a poem when it is ‘deliberately opaque’? What about if it’s been…

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Review: ‘American Sonnets for My Past and Future Assassin’ by Terrance Hayes

Tradition and fashion aside, what Terrance Hayes does with 14 lines, over and over, is what seems necessary: the focusing and finessing of a complex voice – by turns melancholy, crass, urbane, incensed – into a mode that keeps his train-of-thought moving while calling at every stop. Rhythm and momentum in poetry are not the…

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The Double-image of Poetry and Photography

Creative mediums are not indefinable. They have essential elements that mean they are not something else at root. But their practise is not best served by recourse to the ‘it is whatever you want it to be’ line of thinking. I mean, that’s fine, of course – people can think what they like – but…

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Someone Else’s Shoes: Poetic Monologue

Poetry is escape. The bloke at the desk there, not moving at all, not even seeing us as we step into his room now, but staring into space, tapping perhaps his pen against his teeth, or leaning now to squint closely at a sheet of paper, alive with these squiggly, wriggly marks which contain all…

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Danne Jobin Interviews Pascale Petit

Danne Jobin interviews Pascale Petit, winner of the 2018 RSL Ondaatje Prize and co-founder of the Poetry School, about rainforests, mothers and fathers, and trauma. Pascale Petit reads alongside co-founders Mimi Khalvati and Jane Duran at the celebratory event ‘21 Years of the Poetry School‘ at Poetry in Aldeburgh on Sunday 4th November. Danne Jobin: You…

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Danne Jobin Interviews Richard Scott

Danne Jobin speaks with poet Richard Scott, author of Soho (Faber), about gay shame, the body, and openness. Danne Jobin and Richard Scott will read together at the Queer Studio event at Poetry in Aldeburgh on Saturday 3rd November, 17:30.   Danne Jobin: David Halperin and Valerie Traub’s concept of gay shame has heavily influenced your work….

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Course Quick Guide — Spring 2019

Face-to-Face Courses London Workshops: One and two day intensive classes The Light Room: Poetry & Photography’s Intersections with SJ Fowler Explore the light and dark of poems to develop new ways of seeing Come Back Early: Revisiting and Revising with Penny Boxall Find ways of turning a fresh pair of eyes on what we do….

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Poems

Curated Poems, chosen by The Poetry School Staff.

Kostya Tsolákis Interviews Chrissy Williams

Ahead of her reading at Poetry in Aldeburgh (2nd – 4th November, book here!), Kostya Tsolákis talks to poet, tutor and comics editor Chrissy Williams.     Kostya Tsolákis: You’ll be taking part in a couple of events at Poetry in Aldeburgh this year, reading with Suzannah Evans, Matt Howard and Josephine Corcoran. You’ll also…

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How I Did It: Eric Gregory Award — Victoria Adukwei Bulley on ‘What it Means’

Welcome to our Eric Gregory Award 2018 ‘How I Did It’ series. We asked the winners of this year’s awards to explain the process behind one of their award-winning poems. In this piece, Victoria Adukwei Bulley, author of Girl B, talks about ‘What it Means’. The Eric Gregory Awards will close for entries on the 31st of October,…

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Review: ‘The Republic of Motherhood’ by Liz Berry

The Republic of Motherhood (Chatto and Windus) is a pamphlet of poems about motherhood. And it’s by Liz Berry, which means that it is brilliant. The poems in this pamphlet celebrate and sing every aspect of early motherhood, in all of its tendernesses and darker sufferings. One thing I was struck by was a really effective balance…

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Lewis Buxton, Victoria Richards and Amelia Loulli Selected for Primers

The Poetry School and Nine Arches Press are delighted to announce the three poets selected for Primers Volume Four, our mentoring and publication scheme.  After reading hundreds of submissions, the judges Kim Moore and Nine Arches editor Jane Commane have selected:   Lewis Buxton for Weight Victoria Richards for To be fifteen Amelia Loulli for Mother, Mother   Lewis Buxton…

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Review: ‘The Singing Glacier’ by Helen Mort

The Singing Glacier (Hercules Editions) by Helen Mort is a brief collection, just six poems slotted into the size of a crack. But the heart-shaking imagery produced in response to this precious and precarious landscape cuts right to the core. The book opens with an orchestra of clattering spoons and chattering customers; percussive rain pounding against…

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‘Watching the Nestbox’ by Anna Selby — Primers Shortlist 2018

Watching the Nestbox May 22nd to July 19th 2018 To hold a dying bird in your hands is like holding an argument: hot little thudding hot scuffle of feathers all angles and escape a body flooded, bolting. Its feathers peek between your fingers: reptilian tongues. A breath-a breath-abreath. Put it in your mouth like a…

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‘lessons in glass’ by Olga Dermott-Bond — Primers Shortlist 2018

  Olga Dermott-Bond is on the ten-person shortlist for Primers Volume Four. ‘lessons in glass’ is the title poem of her shortlised manuscript. We’ve been showcasing the work of all the shortlisted writers over the past two weeks. Click here to read more poems. Olga Dermott-Bond is originally from Northern Ireland and now lives in Warwickshire, where she is…

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‘an ill wind’ by Charlotte Baldwin – Primers Shortlist 2018

Charlotte Baldwin works as an arts centre programmer, teaches creative writing and walks dogs.  

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Bridging Two Different Lands: Identity & Place

Ahead of her upcoming workshop, Romalyn Ante writes of the power of place in making us who we are   The city teaches the man – Simonides   The concepts of place and identity have always been interlinked, whether in geography, environmental psychology, urban planning, or ecocriticism. In this one-day workshop we will explore how…

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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.

‘Form Up’ by Sally Davis – Primers Shortlist 2018

Form Up One day you wake up and you’re fighting a different war. It’s like every day is drill on the rain-slick barrack square and you’re parading past the brass and every head is turned and every boot comes down, and everything is in its place except your heart. The Padre offers you a ciggie…

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GASP by the New North Poets – Out NOW!

GASP  is a new free digital anthology from the New North Poets: Jasmine Chatfield, Michael Brown, Elizabeth Gibson, Maria Isakova Bennet and Rosa Walling-Wefelmeyer. The New North Poets are a group of writers, who were selected to receive Northern Writers Awards from New Writing North. Over the last 18 months, they’ve received in-depth mentoring from the…

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‘Shadow Boxing’ by Lewis Buxton — Primers Shortlist 2018

______   Lewis Buxton is on the ten-person shortlist for Primers Volume Four. ‘Shadow Boxing’ is taken from his shortlisted manuscript, Weight. We’ll be showcasing the work of all the shortlisted writers over the next two weeks, so check back to read more poems. Born in London in 1993, Lewis Buxton is a poet, performer & arts producer. His poems have…

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Review: ‘The House with Only an Attic and a Basement’ by Kathryn Maris

Many of the poems in The House with Only an Attic and a Basement – poems Maris describes as ‘fictions’ – deal with anxieties around the frictions and fissures in communication between men and women, toxic heterosexual encounters, marriage and infidelity and child-rearing. As with Maris’ previous collection God Loves You (2013), the tensions produced…

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How I Did It: Eric Gregory Award — Stephen Sexton on ‘Daydream of the Jacket’

Welcome to our Eric Gregory Award 2018 ‘How I Did It’ series. We asked the winners of this year’s awards to explain the process behind one of their award-winning poems. In this piece, National Poetry Competition winner discusses ‘Daydream of the Jacket’. The Eric Gregory Awards will close for entries on the 31st of October,…

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National Poetry Day – One-Day Sale on One-Day Workshops!

To celebrate National Poetry Day today, we’re offering 20% off all our one-day workshops, for one-day only. Just use code NPD20 at the checkout stage online to receive 20% off the following courses: Working with Collage with Linda Black Experiment with collage and re-appropriation with Linda Black, learning how these processes can create exciting and original…

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‘You’ by Amelia Loulli – Primers Shortlist 2018

You You came in the night       put your hands around her cheeks and yanked her     from my nipple    or   if You didn’t    You stole all the food     fed Yourself     on the bread I baked that afternoon        grew bigger    or  if not      You hid    in the corners stealing glances   of moments You called mistakes    warned would…

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‘To be fifteen’ by Victoria Richards – Primers Shortlist 2018

To be fifteen and after the third can of Super Strongbow cider, to throw up all over the embossed wallpaper belonging to that girl in the year above, the one with the bra straps and dirty jokes. She breathes in smoke without coughing, says, “alright?” to the most beautiful boy at school, the most beautiful…

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‘After Adlestrop (for Helen Thomas)’ by Valerie Bence – Primers Shortlist 2018

After Adlestrop (for Helen Thomas) As usual, it is not widely known that you were there beside him in that carriage, at that station, suffused in sunlight and birdsong when someone cleared their throat as no-one left and no-one came. As usual, you are invisible — the hidden framework, an underpinning without which he would crumble,…

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