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Tutor Academy – April 2018

Looking to shake off this Siberian weather? In need of some springtime inspiration? Then check out our upcoming Tutor Academy! For this project we have collaborated with  Nathalie Teitler, director of The Complete Works, and co-curated a panel of up-and-coming poets who have never taught for the Poetry School before. We are very happy to be welcoming these 8 poets into…

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Two for Joy: Happy Poems

Sky entered and held surprise wide open (‘The Skylight’, Seamus Heaney) . It seems I was called for this: / To glorify things just because they are (‘Blacksmith Shop’, Czesław Miłosz, translated by the author and Robert Hass) . Pass the tambourine, let me bash out praises (‘The Way We Live’, Kathleen Jamie)   Happiness…

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Transreading the Baltics

Want to see Riga? Or, for that matter, any other place in Latvia. Or Lithuania. Or Estonia… In July 2009 I moved out of Poland, which – five years after joining the European Union – hoped to be perceived as a central part of its continent, rather than its eastern addition. I moved out of…

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Review: ‘My Dark Horses’ by Jodie Hollander

For some, childhood innocence erodes slowly with each new experience. The lucky ones get to occupy this safe, uncomplicated realm – at least for a time. The longevity of this illusion often depends on the adults around us. For Jodie Hollander’s protagonist, the illusion is broken at a young age, a recurring sensation that is…

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Review: ‘Landfill’ by John Wedgwood Clarke

We think that once we throw something away it vanishes, and John Wedgwood Clarke’s poems play with that notion and show us how mistaken we are. Reading Landfill, Wedgwood Clarke’s latest collection and the product of a year spent as poet-in-residence at two refuse centres near York and Scarborough, I was struck by something inspiring…

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We’re moving!

              The Poetry School is delighted to announce that we are moving to 1 Dock Offices, Surrey Quays Road, Canada Water, SE16 2XU. From the beginning of the Summer Term, our offices and London classrooms will move to this historic Grade II listed building, located just 2 minutes walk…

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Summer 2018 Courses Quick Guide

The Summer 2018 Term is now open for booking! We are delighted to open the booking period for the final term of our 20th anniversary year at the Poetry School. Remember that new students get 15% off all courses, just give us a call to get your discount! Concessions are available, and applications for bursaries –…

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Review: ‘Brood’ by Rhian Edwards

Rhian Edwards’ eagerly anticipated pamphlet, Brood, is as compact as a bird’s nest, haunting as a folk song, and as brooding as the title suggests. Brood explores the fragilities of the nuclear family and each line bristles with the channelled focus of a magpie. It is short, even for a pamphlet, with only fourteen poems….

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Review: ‘The Mains’ by Patrick Davidson Roberts

The Mains (Vanguard Editions) is a long, dark night of the soul and is not the place for studied scenes of domestic strife or costive little elegies. The reader coming to these poems for the first time might well be thrown by them; their aesthetic is jagged, frantic, and elliptical. One thing to bear in mind is that…

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Rules Were Made to be Broken

Despite the title I have chosen for this workshop, rules in poetry are not necessarily a bad thing. Anyone thinking of entering a poetry competition for the first time, for instance, would do well to read Fleur Adcock’s hilarious ‘The prize-winning poem’, which gives a very clear idea of the kinds of things that are…

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Poetry School and Poet Paul Stephenson to Curate Poetry in Aldeburgh 2018

  The Poetry School and Poetry in Aldeburgh are delighted to announce that the 2018 Poetry in Aldeburgh Festival will be curated by the Poetry School and the poet Paul Stephenson. The three-day festival will take place on the weekend of 2nd-4th November, 2018 and feature readings, workshops, films, and more from internationally-renowned poets. With…

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Review: ‘Hello. Your Promise Has Been Extracted’ by Ahren Warner

Though you might not recognise it, history is here again. They say the European project is coming apart, and I suppose time will tell. In the meantime, the least an artist can do is to try to bear witness. A wave is crashing over this century as it crashed over the last, and while there…

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Now Hear This: A Mixtape

To celebrate our upcoming course, Now Hear This: Percussion, Tune and the Poetics of Hip Hip, our tutor and MC, Eric Berlin, has kindly put together this mixtape of the best tracks from his favourite lyricists in the game. It’s a great way to fend off these slate grey, droopy January days. If this doesn’t…

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Poetry School Books of the Year 2017

What were your top five poetry books of the year? What about top one hundred? Despite a rumour to the contrary… this year has been an alarmingly thick one for poetry. Stupefyingly thick. Not simply coats-the-back-of-a-spoon thick, but thick-enough-to-stand-up-in-a-straw thick, cutting-off-oxygen-flow-thick, a year so thick with great poetry you could re-mortar Dame Mary Archer’s 1683 residence, The Old Vicarage…

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Poetry School Christmas Sale – 25% Off Selected Courses!

Treat yourself or a friend with 25% off a selection of our Spring short courses in Manchester, Exeter, Bristol and London. Just use the code PUDDING at the checkout stage online to receive your discount! ❄ Digital Poetry with Maya Chowdhry (Manchester) – Was £90, Now £67.50 🎁 The Poetry of Rubbish with John Wedgwood…

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‘Letting Your Avant-Garde Down’ – An Interview with Caleb Parkin

Ahead of his new course in Bristol, Letting Your Avant-Garde Down, we spoke to this year’s National Poetry Competition second prize winner Caleb Parkin. Ali Lewis: Hi Caleb! You’re running a new five-week course with us called Letting Your Avant-Garde Down. Can you tell us a bit about it? Caleb Parkin: The term ‘avant-garde’ is a…

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Digital Poetry Beyond the Prehistoric

I think digital poetry is a genre that can offer poets exciting possibilities to create new work that explores and expands language. And that’s what I’m aiming to do with my new course at the Poetry School. After tweeting about the course and some debate on social media I’ve taken to blogging, because you really…

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‘The Emptiness of Things’

I pour you into notebooks, stacking them on my nightstand next to the clock, candle, matches– hoping the emptiness of things will rub off on you. Ripping out pages, I burn them one by one, only to discover you’ve settled in corners and on dishes and found your way into the spines of books. Across…

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‘The Park’

In matching green anoraks, rain or shine, they walk here every morning, she a little taller than he, leaning on his arm, three times clockwise round the park, keeping themselves to themselves,   keeping to the path by the railings where once they saw a gang of young offenders plant daffodils; admire the clumps of…

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How I Did It: Michael Marks Award Special – Alyson Hallett on ‘crossing the sound’

Ahead of the Awards ceremony on Thursday 12th December, The Poetry School has asked the five poets shortlisted for this year’s Michael Marks Award for Poetry Pamphlets to discuss the writing process behind a poem from their award-nominated work. So far, Theophilus Kwek, Charlotte Wetton, Phoebe Stuckes and Omikemi Natacha Bryan have talked about their poems. In today’s final instalment –…

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How I Did It: Michael Marks Award Special – Omikemi Natacha Bryan on ‘Salt’

Ahead of the Awards ceremony on Thursday 12th December, The Poetry School has asked the five poets shortlisted for this year’s Michael Marks Award for Poetry Pamphlets to discuss the writing process behind a poem from their award-nominated work. So far, Theophilus Kwek, Charlotte Wetton, and Phoebe Stuckes have talked about their poems; today, Omikemi…

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The Poetry of Rubbish: Interview with John Wedgwood Clarke

  Next term, John Wedgwood Clarke will be teaching The Poetry of Rubbish, a five-session course in Exeter. Harriet David, an Oxford masters student who spent a week researching at The Poetry School, spoke to John about the course.     Harriet: Hi John. You spent two years as poet in residence at two Yorkshire rubbish sites;…

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‘Ice Storm’

Shuffling to the bus stop with the boyfriend who’d cut his visit short, cracked plastic wheels of his cheap suitcase juddering on the ice, I clutched at his coat sleeve and missed. Chin grazed, that deep-freeze smell up my nose, gloveless hands stinging. Close up: thousands of bubbles, suspended in ice. Beneath the cloudy layers,…

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How I Did It: Michael Marks Award Special – Phoebe Stuckes on ‘Mad Chicks Cool’

Ahead of the Awards ceremony on Thursday 12th December, The Poetry School has asked the five poets shortlisted for this year’s Michael Marks Award for Poetry Pamphlets to discuss the writing process behind a poem from their award-nominated work. So far, Theophilus Kwek and Charlotte Wetton have talked about their poems; today, Phoebe Stuckes shares the inspiration behind…

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On Writing Your Body, Outside In

What a strange thing it is to inhabit this gummy, flexible, porous, resilient, terrifying, exhilarating vessel from which we have no escape. Take a deep breath. Four seconds in (count them), and four seconds out (count them). What a different thing it is to purposefully concentrate on the one act we’ve done continuously since birth,…

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