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Poetry Beyond Semantics: Broken and Unbroken Code

What came first, the words or the poem? Put a new spin on your practice with the course Poetry Beyond Semantics: Broken and Unbroken Code – five weeks taking you from the very origins of language to the boldest poets of the present. Along the way, we will make a pit stop by some of…

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Aesthetica Creative Writing Award – apply for free entry!

One of our long-term students, Tamsin Hopkins, has won the Aesthetica Creative Writing Award with a poem ‘if you’re being followed’, written on a Poetry School course. Huge congratulations for this incredible success! Tamsin has generously offered to use part of her prize to provide 10 free entries to Poetry School students, for the Aesthetica…

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“There are still secrets to exhume”: Contemporary Gothic Poetry

In 2020, we are truly enamoured by the gothic. Many contemporary gothic-influenced mainstream titles, notably in the Young Adult category, have been transformed into successful films or TV shows with huge fan bases in recent years. There have also been many recent novel-to-screen adaptations of gothic classics – such as Frankenstein (1818), Strange Case of…

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Surviving the Future: Harnessing your Apocalypse Anxiety

Welcome to the Poetry Apocalypse! I first ran this course some time ago, in 2015, and as a starting point to re-working this course for 2021, I revisited the blog piece I wrote then. It started with the question ‘can you remember your first apocalypse?’, and talked about the Millennium Bug – how the fear…

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Teleporting into Poetry and the Law of Beautiful and Unintended Consequences

A rush of adrenaline and hope, combined with a feeling of fear and – OK – dread, have become very familiar to me as a part of my Zoom teaching life. What a strange idea: that one minute you’re sitting in your study alone, and the next you’re teleported into a virtual room with a…

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Poetry Books of the Year 2020

We are delighted to share with you our favourite poetry books of the year! Although it’s been a difficult year, where we couldn’t attend readings or poetry events in person, it has – nevertheless – been filled with exciting poetry, featuring long-awaited debut collections, innovative experiments, and fantastic books from long-established poets. There have been…

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Review: Solar Cruise by Claire Crowther

A poetry of the climate crisis has been growing most noticeably over the last ten years, and it is a poetry of frustration. While individual poems and sequences have done this well elsewhere, Claire Crowther’s new collection, Solar Cruise, is a brilliant complete journal of the anger felt by those of us staring the heat-death…

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Poems

Curated Poems, chosen by The Poetry School Staff.

Review: Pamphlets Round-Up of Dunn, Evans, and Lewis

Two presses produce introductions for three emerging poets, proving that the pamphlet form is as versatile as ever. The title poem of Roxy Dunn’s Big Sexy Lunch sets the scene for what is to follow: indulgence without guilt. ‘I advise’, Dunn writes, ‘a big sexy lunch / The six course Italian kind / Beginning with…

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Review: ‘My Little Brother: a morning in heaven, at least in green’ by Christel Wiinblad

My Little Brother, the second collection of Danish poet Christel Wiinblad (but the first translated into English, by Marlene Engelund), is a moving account of Wiinblad’s brother’s life, his battle with schizophrenia, and his suicide attempt. It is also the story of her, the big sister – what she witnessed, the clues she missed, those…

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Review: ‘Shine, Darling’ by Ella Frears

Reflections on movement and witness haunt Ella Frears’s debut, Shine, Darling. ‘I Knew Which Direction’, the prologue poem that offers a roadmap for our movement through the collection generally, also introduces the book’s metaphorical patron saint: the moon. The poem begins with its speaker on a shore, drawn to that moon ‘tilted toward the sea’…

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Review: ‘My Darling from the Lions’ by Rachel Long

Rachel Long’s debut collection, My Darling from the Lions, interweaves accessible narrative poems with surrealist ones to explore a mixed-race speaker’s arrival into womanhood. Five nearly identical versions of the poem ‘Open’ occur in the book’s first section. Each features an ‘I’ engaged in the same dialogue with different interlocutors:  This morning he told meI…

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Spring 2021 – Quick Course Guide

As you wrap yourself in your warmest scarf and woolliest sweater, you can look forward to our Spring 2021 Term here at the Poetry School! Our Spring Term is now live and we’ve got a whole host of brilliant tutors and courses lined up, so be sure to book promptly to avoid disappointment. Below is…

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The Online Museum Poet: A Job Description

The new Studio+ format is both intense and intensely wonderful: a Zoom sandwich, if you will. Or where Zoom is the bread, and Campus is the jam. It was lovely to virtually ‘meet’ the course members, before we set them tasks on our Campus group, and certainly added to the group’s dynamic. In response to…

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Review: ‘Saffron Jack’ by Rishi Dastidar

Rishi Dastidar’s second collection is a chimera. At once a long narrative poem, a one-man play with modest stage directions, and a DIY manual for How to Set Up and Rule a Nation, the book is also written in the format of a legislative document, with numbered clauses sub-dividing into indented elaborations: 24.2. It was…

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Writing ‘Heart-to-Heart’ About Political Discontent

Between the Covid-19 pandemic, the renewed concerns over racism and inequality, and the deepening of the climate crisis, our collective nerves are stretched to the limit and we are struggling to stay above water. There is no doubt that the global community is doing serious and urgent soul-searching. How can we be of help? As…

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Soundtext Anthology

Soundtext was a course run in the Spring Term of 2020 for the Poetry School. The course sought to push the boundaries of possibility in terms of sound and text. Our hypothesis: what can an artist create when they approach text from the ends of sound, and sound from the ends of text? We have…

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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: ‘How To Wash A Heart’ by Bhanu Kapil

In How To Wash A Heart, her first UK-published collection, Bhanu Kapil offers a timely and intimate exploration of hospitality, expressed through the story of a fictional relationship between an immigrant guest and a citizen host. Wrapped up in this story are other stories: of the artist trying to create, the body’s inescapably visceral condition,…

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Smears & Caresses: The Poetry of Abstract Art

How can abstract art help poets? It makes us look and it makes us think, and it makes us think about our thoughts. It helps to steer us away from pre-existing categories. We cannot glance at it and then say ‘Nice goat’, or ‘Evocative seascape’, or ‘What a lovely cottage!’. Instead, we interact with the…

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Autumn 2020 – Quick Course Guide

The leaves are green and the sun is still shining, but we’re already looking forward to the Autumn Term here at the Poetry School! Our Autumn Term is now live and we’ve got a whole host of brilliant tutors and courses lined up, so be sure to book promptly to avoid disappointment. Below is our…

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Voices of the Sea

People – and especially poets – have always been fascinated by the sea. We see it as a powerful metaphor for strong emotion or for the unconscious. We are drawn by its power, its changing moods, its promise of adventure. There are many ways in which we look at the sea. And those are the…

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‘Come to Where I’m From’

‘Come to where I’m from.’ So writes Glyn Maxwell in his masterpiece of place, ‘Birthplace’, from his 2013 collection Pluto. The great energy of the poem, its enormous historic sweep, is a great advertisement for what place can do for a poem – or for what this poet can do for any subject at all….

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Review: ‘Letters Home’ by Jennifer Wong

‘Home’ is a contentious word. Both personal and political, ‘home’ implies belonging, and not belonging.  In Robert Frost’s ‘Death of the Hired Man’, ‘Home is the place where, when you have to go there, / They have to take you in’. But is that place where we live, where we were born, where our family…

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Review: ‘The Air Year’ by Caroline Bird

When was the last time you were asked to do the impossible?  Caroline Bird’s essay ‘The Discipline of Getting Lost: On the Impossibility of Poems’ (in the Nine Arches anthology The Craft) speaks of freeing yourself to write poetry by accepting how impossible it is to put your soul down on paper. Resonant of Ben…

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MA in Writing Poetry Scholarship 2020 Now Open For Entries

We’re delighted to announce that, for the second year running, Newcastle University is offering a scholarship award worth £7,800 (full fees) for an outstanding applicant to the Poetry School / Newcastle MA in Writing Poetry for 2020/21 entry. The Scholarship will be awarded on a competitive basis to applicants who have already accepted an offer of a place for…

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Coronavirus: How Will It Affect My Studies?

As you know, here at Poetry School we treat the well-being and health of our community extremely seriously. As a result of the current COVID-19 pandemic, we have decided that the safest and best way forward for all of us over the next few weeks is to close the physical School. This does not mean…

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