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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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Poems

Curated Poems, chosen by The Poetry School Staff.

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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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: ‘RENDANG’ by Will Harris

To understand Will Harris’s RENDANG, I keep coming back to the poem ‘The White Jumper’, which appears at the end of the collection’s first section. It’s a poem of fragments, puzzle-pieces which expand to bear meaning on the rest of the poems in subtle, complex ways. The poem opens with a figure ‘running and jumping from…

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This Goes There, That Comes After: List Poems

I Remember by Joe Brainard is the first poem I think about when I think about list poems. It’s a book-length poem consisting of a series of statements, all of which begin with the refrain ‘I remember’. Here’s an example: I remember planning to tear page 48 out of every book I read from the…

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Course Quick Guide: Summer 2020

Our Summer Term is live! Welcome to our handy Quick Guide, where you’ll find everything you’ll need to know about our upcoming courses… Face-to-Face  Workshops: One and two day intensive classes May the Verse be with You: Poetry Inspired by Star Wars with Chrissy Williams Odes to the moon are something of a poetic cliché these days….

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Roddy Lumsden 1966–2020

As we’re sure that most of you reading this are already aware, Roddy Lumsden very sadly passed away on January 10th 2020, after a long period of illness. In his passing, the poetry world has lost a true titan. Roddy was an acclaimed and innovative poet, an inspirational educator, a generous mentor, and a fastidious…

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Review: ‘WITCH’ by Rebecca Tamás

WITCH is rude, raucous, shocking, intellectually bracing, sophisticated, messy, anti-dogmatic, and sexy. It’s a thrilling, visceral and totally unexpected collection, which redefines the possibilities for poetic language in the twenty-first century. If that sounds like hype to you, get ready to be sucker-punched. The figure of the witch is an eternally potent archetype for many…

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The Air in a Room is Cut & Looped

Working with sound has freed up creative possibilities for my writing and made for joyful collaborations that push me to experiment with how I curate and present material. The soundtext ‘Eating Trends’ embedded here is a manipulation of my own raw personal data. ‘Eating Trends’ by Antosh Wojcik The piece begins with my washing machine…

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Where Words Meet Music

Put a spring in your step with our latest Easter Extra programme: Where Words Meet Music – a brand new 6-week course where you will think about what poems and songs can learn from each other and get creative to inspire new ways of approaching your writing. The course will be steered by singer and…

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The Poem That Travelled the World

Sometimes a poem has the freedom to travel from mouth to mouth, page to page, screen to screen, and arrive at places the poet has neither been to or even imagined. This is the case with Warsan Shire’s poem ‘Home’, one of the poems we will explore in the upcoming course ‘The bravest people on…

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Poetry & Advertising Studio

Even if it seems an improbable one, the association between poetry and advertising is not a new one. As it often happens when you have a new idea, someone else has had it before. In my case, it’s S. I. Hayakawa, who published an article titled “Poetry and Advertising” as early as January 1946. So, 74…

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