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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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‘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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‘Catholic Girl Ghazal’ by Rachel Burns – Primers Shortlist 2018

Catholic Girl Ghazal Gotta love us Catholic girls, worshipping Madonna, singing Madonna mimicking her dress, the crop short sexy tops, just like Madonna. We are good Catholic girls, dare to bare our navel girls, chewing Wrigley’s gum hoops in our ears, crucifixes swinging from our necks, sexy like Madonna. Look, now we’re meeting up with…

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‘Last eclipse’ by Nina Powles – Primers Shortlist 2018

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Primers Volume Four Shortlist and Longlist Announced!

The Poetry School and Nine Arches Press are thrilled to announce the shortlist and longlist for Primers Volume Four, our mentoring and publication scheme. After reading thousands of poems, judges Kim Moore and Jane Commane have selected ten manuscripts for the shortlist and 17 manuscripts for the longlist. We’ll be publishing poems by all of…

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Review: ‘Passivity, Electricity, Acclivity’ by Ella Frears

Ella Frears’ Passivity, Electricity, Acclivity is one fragmented but connected lyric essay. Where the lyric essays that are most frequently referenced (Maggie Nelson’s Bluets, and Claudia Rankine’s Don’t Let Me Be Lonely and Citizen) tend to work in small blocks of prose (or prose-poetry), Frears explodes the lyric essay form, producing the familiar blocks of prose,…

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How I Did It – Forward First Collection: Abigail Parry on ‘The nine lives you might have lived, were it not for the nine thin spells through your heart’

Welcome to the fourth instalment of our Forward Prizes First Collection ‘How I Did It’ series. Once again, we’ve asked the poets shortlisted for this year’s Felix Dennis Prize to explain the process behind one of their award-shortlisted poems. Here, Abigail Parry discusses the history of a key poem from her collection Jinx. The Forward Prizes ceremony will…

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How I Did It: Forward First Collection – Kaveh Akbar on ‘HERITAGE’ from Calling a Wolf a Wolf

  Welcome to the third instalment of our Forward Prizes First Collection ‘How I Did It’ series. We asked the poets shortlisted for this year’s Felix Dennis Prize to explain the process behind one of their award-shortlisted poems. Here, Kaveh Akbar talks about the devastating real-life event behind the poem ‘HERITAGE’. The Forward Prizes ceremony will take…

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#28for28: Sharing Space

Poetry School is sharing space. We are sharing our blog and broadcasting writers’ stories of those who experience indefinite immigration detention in the UK and those who work with them. We are also sharing our physical space: three of the tales – by Patience Agbabi, Neel Mukherjee, and Bernardine Evaristo – were filmed here at…

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How I Did It: Eric Gregory Award – Zohar Atkins on ‘System Baby’

Welcome to the third instalment of 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, Zohar Atkins writes about ‘System Baby’, Heideggerian ontology, and writing poems in resistance to ‘unsayability’. The Eric Gregory…

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