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Review: ‘Louder than Hearts’ by Zeina Hashem Beck

In this emotionally charged, overtly political collection, the Lebanese poet Zeina Hashem Beck writes her way through pain and passion, through history and politics, through bombings and journeys and injustice, through personal and political tales of family, parenthood, love, destruction, and loss. Hashem Beck writes with great dignity, verve and directness, never shying from difficult…

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‘The Last Sight of Her’

Mouthing sleep in a window of adverts Truth finds herself advertised, with the same calligraphy as exploitative news. I am broken, Truth says, Can’t hold my head up can’t shake the dread settling in the eyes of Truth – cementing-empty-nothing. Truth can’t get out of bed, Truth had a heavy night, Truth makes boiled eggs…

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Review: ‘Dragonish’ by Emma Simon

Emma Simon’s debut pamphlet Dragonish (The Emma Press) introduces a poet who is adept at finding the extraordinary in the everyday and the everyday in the extraordinary. Dragonish really whets the appetite for the full debut collection that will no doubt be warmly greeted in a few years. These accessible, entertaining, often moving poems sometimes…

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‘The One-Breath Poem’: National Writing Day Activity for Parents, Teachers and Children

Whether you’re a parent, teacher, young person or adult writer, celebrate National Writing Day with our ‘One-Breath Poem’ resource. It’s perfect for a classroom activity or spare 15 minutes with a pen and paper, and it’s a fantastic way into the wide wonderful world of poetry. Download it here: One-Breath-Poem-The-Poetry-School Stuck for inspiration? Why not have…

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How I Did It – Primers Volume Two: Ben Bransfield on ‘And to this day’

And to this day there’s a well down those woods that feeds off tales of stay aways. By nine our heads were knitted with them: fireside legends, the edges of seats. Chewing our nails, twisting our hair, we’d conker scout the outer trees but soon slip deeper to a cooler place, that well of stone….

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National Writing Day: Our Plans

To celebrate the first annual National Writing Day, The Poetry School will be publishing a series of articles on life as a working poet, staging a Twitter takeover, and providing a brilliant classroom writing activity. We’ll have insightful articles on the day from: Anthony Anaxogorou, poet, educator, and founder of Out-Spoken Press Emma Wright, director…

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Mixed Borders: Who’s Where

We’re thrilled to be able to announce the details of our Mixed Borders poets and the gardens where they’ll be in residence for this year’s Open Garden Squares Weekend. Check out the list below for details as which poets will be in which garden, so you can plan your visits accordingly. Alesha Racine Alesha lives…

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Mixed Borders 2017: Round-Up

Our Mixed Borders poets have been working hard in their resident gardens, tilling the imaginative soil to cultivate new poems and activities for the fast-approaching Open Garden Squares Weekend, on June 17-18. Here’s a quick peek over the garden fence, so you can see some of the ideas coming into bud: Nicola Jackson is making seed packet poems in…

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1215.today Poet-in-Residence Round Up: Week 4

It’s been another busy week for our 1215.today Poet-in-Residence, Remi Graves. On Monday, Remi explore a ‘positive vision for the future’, setting out the intention to investigate different relationships to “utopia” throughout the week.   On Tuesday, Remi reminisced about dancing to Janelle Monae with sisters, discussing the empowerment & hope of lyrics and asking…

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Review: ‘At Hajj’ by Amaan Hyder

Centred on the Greater Pilgrimage to Mecca – from which At Hajj (Penned in the Margins) derives its title – this collection abounds with interrupted narratives or side-lined stories from seldom heard-of, or listened-to, people. I’ve been busy thinking about the layout of a new collection as I read Amaan Hyder’s fascinating first collection that mingles…

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Review: ‘Ticker-tape’ by Rishi Dastidar

Reading Rishi Dastidar’s Ticker-tape (Nine Arches Press) gives essential insight into what it is to be alive in Britain today. Dastidar’s debut full length collection marries project management and social media, politics with good old fashioned unrequited love, and clearly shows a fresh, original and important voice. Facing the contents page is a flowchart guiding…

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How I Did It – Primers Volume Two: Cynthia Miller on ‘Yellow’

At the Verve Poetry Festival headline on Saturday, Helen Mort, Kayo Chingonyi and Sarah Howe were on a panel discussing their poetry and themes of home and belonging. Sarah remarked that “poetry gave her a background”. I remember being in the audience and having an almost visceral reaction to that comment, with my whole body…

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Announcing The Resurgence Prize with The Poetry School

We are absolutely thrilled to announce that we have this year partnered with the Resurgence Prize to deliver the Resurgence Poetry Prize, now known as The Resurgence Prize with The Poetry School. The Resurgence Prize with The Poetry School is the world’s first major award for ecopoetry. With a first prize of £5,000 for the…

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1215.today Poet-in-Residence Round Up: Week 3

On Monday, our 1215.today poet-in-residence Remi Graves wrote about ‘Word and Image: exploring the interplay of poetry and art‘, and covered such varied ground as Theresa May’s tweets, the art of Jean-Michel Basquiat and snapchat.   On Tuesday, Remi looked at a new and striking artwork / poem by Jörg Piringer, and challenged her readers to “play…

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‘The Zoo of Doo’

Wombat, do you do doo? I do do doo! And let me tell you something new; The doo I do is square! It’s true! When I do doo, I poop a cube! Do you do doo like I do doo? Bird, do you do doo? I do do doo! And let me tell you something…

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‘As Long As’

You can dye your hair violet or live in the trees, you can paint funny faces on each of your knees, you can bathe in a bath full of thick sticky slime, you can do what you like – as long as you’re kind. You can wear your pyjamas to dinner or tea, you can…

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‘Johnny, who was too good and suffered the consequences’

Young Johnny was always a good little child, Not prone to be lazy or spiteful or wild, Occasionally naughty but generally nice, And yet, for his parents, this didn’t suffice. They didn’t want average. They wanted the best. They wanted their son to outshine all the rest, With model behaviour at all times of day,…

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‘Caroline and the Scissors’

Caroline, Caz to me and you, was errant daughter number two. Diana, daughter number one, it seemed to Caz had all the fun – she’d scissors that could really cut, a doll that walked and wee-weed – but Caz was the sharper of the two and knew exactly what to do to put her sister…

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1215.today Residency Round-Up: Week 2

Our 1215.today poet-in-residence Remi Graves kicked off the week talking about ‘subversion’ – in poetry and art – and the (not-so-noble) history of Magna Carta. On Tuesday, Remi ‘Haiku-ised’ the famous Clause  40, and on Wednesday she explored the art of Yinka Shonibare, which “subverts his role as an outsider as a Nigerian-British and disabled artist,…

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1215.today Poet-in-Residence Remi Graves: Residency Round-Up. Week One

Our new Poetry School 1215.today digital poet-in-residence Remi Graves has had an amazingly productive first week, posting six (!) articles, including playlists and poems.  Here’s a taster of what she’s been up to: 14/05: Asking Our New Poet-in-Residence the Questions That Really Matter: “What was the first poem you had a real connection with? “Elizabeth Bishop’s…

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Our Summer School Programme 2017

Cold weather getting you down? Tired of needing your umbrella every day? Sick of woolly jumpers? Well fear not! Our Summer School is just the ticket for those winter blues. Drums please! We’ve asked some of our favourite poets to run a series of half-day workshops at the end of July, focusing on their passion projects and trying out some…

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Review: ‘Savage’ by Rebecca Tamás

It’s fitting that the first word in Savage (Clinic) is ‘please’, thus priming the reader for the pamphlet’s themes of vulnerability and need. Indeed, much of Rebecca Tamás’ technique hinges on a kind of self-psychoanalysis, an exploration of the individual’s sacred/profane duality as revealed by ‘love that’s virulent, ugly, nutshell tight, / love that throws out…

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Re: Review: ‘White Hills’ by Chloe Stopa-Hunt

What is it that makes poetry special, different, or unique? What makes a poet important? The answer must lie somewhere beyond form or subject – beyond, that is to say, anything I am able to mention here. The poems in White Hills (Clinic) have been described as ‘weirdly beautiful’, possessed of a ‘strange grandeur’. These…

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Open Workshop: ‘Freedom in Confinement’ with Remi Graves

Excavate and explore the theme of confinement in order to find new freedoms in writing about the self, with our 1215today Digital Poet in Residence, Remi Graves. Used in its modern context, confinement refers to a state of being limited or constricted. It’s rarer, and older definition however relates to ‘the condition of being in…

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‘Lament for Didcot A’

I will lament your cooling towers, those pale hyperboloids monumental as a temple for giants. I will lament their demolition, each falling to its knees in slow motion like a man hamstrung in battle who dies in the dust keening for glory that will never be sung. I will lament the dragon of your superheater…

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