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Radical Butchery Studio

“Futurists believed that the constraints of syntax were inappropriate to modern life and that it did not truly represent the mind of the poet…However, the Futurists were not truly abolishing syntax. White points out that since “The OED defines ‘syntax’ as ‘the arrangement of words in their proper forms) by which their connection and relation…

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We Cannot Stop the Rumbling Trains

I live in Nanjing, just down the road from the Chaotian palace and, in the other direction, the Hanzhongmen section of the city’s ancient wall. This section of the wall is mostly in bits now, but it’s a lovely spot, opening up into an area for gathering with friends. As the sun sets on the…

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The Convergence of Languages in Latinx Poetry

One of the elements that makes Latinx poetry so rich is the many cultures that come together in a single poem. The convergence of cultures can take on many forms, and for Latinx poets, who come from a wide range of backgrounds, the results are endlessly varied. In the forthcoming Poem(a)s Studio: Reading Contemporary Latinx…

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Review: ‘Milk Tooth’ by Martha Sprackland

The title of Martha Sprackland’s new pamphlet, Milk Tooth (Rough Trade), might denote a wish or an ache, something missing, a talisman wrought from the body, a souvenir of pain. A reminder that we are all animals of a sort, struggling for one or more kinds of survival. Milk Tooth opens with an epigraph from…

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Non-Executive Board Member Position Open!

Poetry School is a national arts organisation providing inspiring tuition and opportunities for poets and poetry audiences. We were founded in 1997 by poets Mimi Khalvati, Jane Duran and Pascale Petit. Since our earliest days, our courses and activities have encouraged poets and poetry to flourish. With established teaching centres throughout England as well as…

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Review: ‘Shadow Dogs’ by Natalie Whittaker

Natalie Whittaker’s Shadow Dogs (ignition press) introduces a powerful, controlled new voice. The twenty-one poems collected here are often short and restrained but, to steal from the pamphlet’s title, the elegant sentences and striking images cast enormous shadows, conjuring something much bigger than themselves. Because of the care with language and the sense of a lived…

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Review: ‘Spikenard’ by Yvonne Reddick

Red in tooth and claw though the setting for many of her poems are, Yvonne Reddick evades any easy categorisation in Spikenard (Smith | Doorstop). Just as she did in its two predecessors, Deerhart and Translating Mountains, Reddick writes a poetry that bucks, rears and darts, but is also defined by the steady and deep-sinking effect…

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Poems

Curated Poems, chosen by The Poetry School Staff.

Review: ‘Counter Reform’ by Charlotte Newman

Charlotte Newman’s Counter Reform is ostensibly a pamphlet about living with Obsessive Compulsive Disorder. As Newman asserts: ‘It is not about liking things clean. It is about making a mess of human mechanisms, of trying to control metaphysics.’ For Newman, the pamphlet is a ‘not-book’. The pamphlet is split into three sections: ‘Obsession’, ‘Compulsion’, ‘Resistance’….

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‘Your sister is a thousand eyes’ by Billie Manning

Your sister is a thousand eyes and she has been looking for you. In the park by the rusting swings, in the burnt grass, she is looking. She sees a thousand things. Chernobyl. Teeth and hair. A dead father. Ugliness. You’ve seen them. The burning buildings, the falling bridges. Children crying in the back of…

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‘The Number You Have Dialled Does Not Exist’ by Fathima Zahra

(After Hyon Gyon’s ‘We Were Ugly’) Your granddaughter – Wild fields of skeletons your Gardening books didn’t teach you about. She writes letters to your dead husband, Loves a boy in secret, But you don’t know that. You know her from a time of closeted Tongues and unaware Grandmothers loved better. There’s only so much…

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Writers, Retreat

Fall back, poets! I’ve got the supplies in; you need only bring yourselves. I’ve designed Writers, Retreat as a wild tour of the remote huts, palaces and wind baffles used by poets and artists to keep their notebooks from the elements and their writing from interruption. We’ll pay Dylan Thomas a visit in his ‘house…

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In Praise of Complexity

I’ve recently been reading Peter Brook’s The Shifting Point. I often go back to this book, reading about the world of theatre as a way to think about poetry. In the chapter entitled ‘Shakespearean Realism’ Brook talks about how we intuitively accept from a young age that our mind is constantly moving from one place…

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Pub Chats: Bad Betty Press

Welcome to Pub Chats, our series of interviews about the nuts and bolts of publishing with some of the country’s most innovative indie presses. Joining us for a chat and a drink today is Amy Acre of Bad Betty Press. Hello there! What are you drinking?  I like a bit of everything, but it’s 4pm…

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Only Love

Other than being a poet, I’m also a high school and middle school English teacher. A student asked me the other day what my “writing truth” was and it stunned me. It’s a funny phrase, “writing truth”, and it was an odd question, but I knew my answer immediately: the heart. Everything I write is…

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Course Quick Guide — Summer 2019

This handy quick guide to our Summer 2019 courses includes a booking link and a short description of everything we’re offering coming term! Click on a course for more information.  Face-to-Face Courses London – One and Two-Day Workshops Mapping Our Lost Haunts with Jean Sprackland Rediscover the dens, playgrounds and treehouses of your childhood. Extrasensory Perceptions: Fortean Poetry with Caleb Parkin Channel poems from…

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Pub Chats: Platypus Press

Welcome to Pub Chats, our series of interviews about the nuts and bolts of publishing with some of the country’s most innovative indie presses. Joining us today in our mystery spit-and-sawdust somewhere in Canary Wharf is Michelle Tudor of Platypus Press, an indie publisher of poetry, fiction & non-fiction based in England. Hello there! What…

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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.

On Finding Our Why

When the Poetry School asked if I’d like to run a course of my own choosing, I asked myself what I might have needed support with at some other time. As it turns out, commissions and residencies can be transformative ways of learning about your own practice. Having undertaken a number of these last year,…

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Tutor Academy – April 2019

Put a spring back in your poems’ step, and see new inspiration bloom at our brand new Tutor Academy! This spring we have collaborated with  Martha Sprackland, editor at Offord Road Books, to co-curate a week of exciting half-day workshops led by ten poets who are teaching for the Poetry School for the first time. We are…

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Review: ‘Us’ by Zaffar Kunial

The most impressive thing about Zaffar Kunial’s debut collection, Us, might be its willingness not to impress; to leave as slight an impression as possible. The book’s first epigraph (of two) comes from Khalil Gibran: ‘Half of what I say is meaningless; but I say it / so that the other half may reach you’…

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Review: ‘Fondue’ by A. K. Blakemore

‘Fondue’ must be one of the more descriptive words in the language. It summons up consistency, texture, a sense of movement, taste and smell. Even the sound of the word is evocative: the onomatopoeic glooping of ue – and borrowed from French, too. It’s certainly more suggestive than ‘melt’. It’s an appropriate title for this…

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Family, Politics and Poetry: What Ties Them All Together?

With the holidays been and gone, family is on my mind. I haven’t been ‘home’ for Christmas – that is back to America – for nine years. When I was a kid, my brother and I were given rules on the day – things we should and shouldn’t say. My Dad knew not to drink…

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Poetry School Books of the Year 2018

It’s been a superb year for ‘little shapelets’ and their ‘sprinkling of white space’. Funny, painful, complex, adventurous, elegiac, innovative, insightful and enduring, the books we have chosen to celebrate here represent just a small selection of the marvellous work we have read and loved over the past twelve months. Below, in alphabetical order, you…

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Why the sonnet?

Why the sonnet? Because it is one thing. Because it is many. First of all, the many. Petrarch in the late Middle Ages, Terrance Hayes in Trump’s America, Camões, Shakespeare, Goethe, Baudelaire, Lorca and thousands of other poets across the centuries in their different cultures and languages: who would pretend that their poems are anything…

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Review: ‘Their Lunar Language’ by Charlotte Eichler

Charlotte Eichler’s debut pamphlet Their Lunar Language opens on a wryly prophetic note: ‘We knew everything, playing oracle on the carpet. / Saturdays crawled with our ladybird circus – ’ – lines which capture something of humanity’s uneasy assumptions of power over the natural world. Vahni Capildeo has described Eichler’s poems as ‘modern pastoral’ and…

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Interview with Mark Waldron

Maria Lewandowska interviews poet Mark Waldron, author of The Brand New Dark (2008), The Itchy Sea (2011), and Meanwhile, Trees (2016), who will be teaching the Advanced Poetry Course at Poetry School next term.   Maria Lewandowska: What are your plans for the workshop, and what do you want to focus on with your students?…

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