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Spring 2015 courses (in one line or less)

LONDON – SHORT COURSES Poetry of Place with Roisin Tierney – where do you come from, where are you going to? Writing tasks and workshopping based on a broad definition of ‘place’ Routes into Poetry with Tamar Yoseloff – the best course for beginners, starts in the Spring and continues till the Summer Defining a…

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Unreal Ghazals in English

When Agha Shahid Ali subtitled his anthology of formal ghazals, “Real Ghazals in English” he was trying to point out that the constraints of rhyme and refrain were what made a ghazal real. But what of unreal ghazals? Even Shahid admitted, “I do like many aspects of the so-called ghazals” that his American comrades were…

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Live Q&A with Don Share – ‘Poetry Here & There’

We are overjoyed to announce that Don Share, poet and editor of Poetry magazine, is coming to CAMPUS this December for a Live Q&A. No wacky catchy byline needed – it’s Don Share, everyone. Don Share! Don will be in discussion with Kathryn Maris, our Digital Poet in Residence, and they’ll be variously discussing: the…

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I know what I know, says the almanac

In defence of the sestina: part 3 ‘Sestina’, a widely anthologised poem, is one of two sestinas Elizabeth Bishop published. (The other is ‘A Miracle for Breakfast’.)  I first came across ‘Sestina’ in the third edition of The Norton Anthology of Poetry, the doorstopper required for a creative writing class with WN Herbert in 1987….

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Just Add Ghazal

Introducing the ghazal, part 2 Because the ghazal is modular, it can be especially fun to write and revise. In most poetic forms, revision can feel incredibly frustrating—you change one line, and suddenly, everything else is off balance. I once had a student send me a poem, and I told him that I loved the…

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Hockey, hockey

In defence of the sestina, part 2 Once in a while, for no reason at all, these lines go through my head: Call me Zamboni. Nights my job is hockey. I make the ice and watch the kids take slapshots At each other. They act like Esposito. They are the first three lines of a…

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Lo and Behold! The Poetry School Micro-Commission Fund

Lo and Behold! The Poetry School Micro-Commission Fund The Poetry School invites applications to its fund to support innovative poetry creation and promotion projects. We have five sums of £750 to support poets, artists and producers in the creation of ambitious new work. We want to fund projects that explore new ways of creating or…

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What’s a Ghazal?

Introducing the ghazal, part 1 The ghazal is the oldest poetic form still in use. The word ‘ghazal’ is pronounced “guzzle” in some languages and “gu-ZAHL” in others, though in both with a guttural “g” almost like the “ch” in “Bach.” Supposedly, the name comes from the sound a wounded gazelle makes as it dies….

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Everyone Hates a Sestina

In defence of the sestina, part 1 Almost every poet has heard someone dismiss sestinas. Perhaps you, yourself, have dismissed sestinas. Sam Riviere, in his review of Christopher Reid’s Six Bad Poets in The Poetry Review, wrote: ‘I dread a sestina as much as the next person,’ taking for granted the inevitability of that viewpoint….

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Meet the Digital Poet in Residence: Kathryn Maris

An Interview with Kathryn Maris

Hi Kathryn! Tell us a bit about your residency with Jason, ‘American English’. Kathryn: My blog posts will be micro-explorations of my idiosyncratic likes and dislikes in poetry, what I’ve observed, and what I wish could change. They will be essay-like in shape and are not to be taken too seriously because I regularly change…

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Re: Drafts – ‘Hey, have you had your hair cut?’

It’s early days for the Poetry School’s latest collaboration with The Rialto poetry magazine. Poets Rishi Dastidar and Holly Hopkins are working closely with Rialto editor Michael Mackmin on a programme designed to teach them about the process and philosophy of poetry editing. Each month, on a new series we’re calling Re: Drafts, they’ll share…

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Meet the Digital-Poet-in-Residence: Jason Schneiderman

An Interview with Jason Schneiderman

Hi Jason! Tell us a bit about the residency. Jason: I’ll be working with Kathryn to think through a number of questions about English Language poetry in the UK and America. We’ll be thinking a lot about form and community. When did you first start writing poetry? What brought you to it? Jason:  I started writing…

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‘Arkam’

This street was once a market where a raven bowed down and pecked a boy’s face. As he fainted the others came to feast. They used to steal walnuts and drop them into the road. Cars broke the shells and they ate the insides. Once they came into our house and tore into our parents’…

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Announcing our 5th and 6th Digital Poets in Residence!

We’re very excited to announce ‘American English’, a twisty Trans-Atlantic twin residency with Kathryn Maris (DPIR #6). Kathryn Maris, who grew up in New York and now lives in London, and Jason Schneiderman, who spent his early childhood England and now lives in Brooklyn, will compare notes on trends in UK and US poetry, discussing…

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‘Pegged Down Square’

As you snuggle down your eyes flutter towards the beauty of REM touching your hair I whisper maybe we should move on from this cracked cold land you dream murmur I barely hear as whining winds whip like bullets through sounding walls quiet you say I delve into thought of our glitzy summer wedding so…

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Pub Chat: Hercules Editions

An Interview with Hercules Editions

In the latest in this series of feature-length interviews with independent publishers, set in our imaginary poetry theatre pub somewhere in Lambeth, we spoke to Tamar Yoseloff and Vici MacDonald, the founders of Hercules Editions… Hello there, Hercules Editions! What are you drinking? Tammy: A bottle of Brixton Brewery APA. Vici: Being an imaginary pub, it serves on-tap…

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‘No going back’

She’s made of a million white-fingered sleights of hand, light-touch lies like slight dust traces. Look, an example: a small metal cage, inside, banked-up, shredded pages of The Guardian, a scum-ringed bowl, no food, no animal. He’s hiding, she’s insisting to her school friend, with a blistering of shame. Like bonfire toffee resisting the hammer,…

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‘Eye’

Always a girl’s name – you knew when she was near from the sweltering clamp of your dress on the skin between your shoulder blades and the thunder ants that flew in from the thick night to thud into the standard lamp’s hot silk shade and fall, milling in its circle of light, depositing their…

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Pub Chat: interview with Burning Eye Books

An Interview with Burning Eye Books

In the latest in this series of feature-length interviews with independent publishers, set in our imaginary poetry theatre pub somewhere in Lambeth, we spoke to Clive Birnie of Burning Eye Books… Hello there, Clive! What are you drinking? Clive: Brewdog Punk IPA. How long has Burning Eye been running? Clive: The first Burning Eye title (Slinky Espadrilles by Ash Dickinson)…

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Open Workshop with Richard Osmond: ‘Written in Juice of Lemon’

Content and form should always be in dialogue. In this new Open Workshop with up-and-coming poet, Richard Osmond, you’ll make this dialogue more explicit, and take it to strange new places. In this workshop you’ll be looking at poems which are designed to be published, broadcast or inscribed in unconventional ways, on unconventional surfaces or…

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Exclusive preview: Butcher’s Dog #4

In advance of our launch this weekend at the Durham Book Festival, we present some quick cuts and choice rashers from the upcoming issue of Butcher’s Dog magazine, co-edited by  Sophie F Baker (from the naughty) and The Poetry School (from the sour). It was a Herculean labour cutting almost 750 poems or so down to 20 odd, but…

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Pub Chat: interview with CB editions

An Interview with CB editions

In the latest in this series of feature-length interviews with independent publishers, we found a warm fireside spot in our imaginary poetry theatre pub somewhere in Lambeth, and spoke to Charles Boyle of the wonderful CB editions… Hello there, Charles! What are you drinking? Charles: Wine, large glass. (Given that we’re going to be here for…

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Ain’t got no style / I’m strictly roots

Recently, I was getting acquainted with May Swenson. I saw her photo and couldn’t resist: Today, she would have a septum piercing and an undercut. A few days before I was reading Women Wearing Clothes – and the question came up: why do some girls have style and others not? On the train, I picked…

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‘Hiccups’

and fall up – Toast crumbs dance on the plate hiccups – surprising as they rise askew through bright morning light to the ceiling, spring clouds of bread midges. Beautiful. Wrong. On the table, spoons, knives jolt and jounce;           pounce upright; fire high, stab plaster. Anchored in my chair, I’m braced,…

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The Profit and the Loss

This is an interesting moment to be thinking about this topic. Exhibit B, at the Barbican has just been shut down. When I was seven or eight, there was a giant house somewhere in London, where my grandmother used to organise events around black history. One night, there was a display of all the implements…

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