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Our 8th Digital Poet in Residence is…

This March we’re inaugurating not one but two new residencies. Ross Sutherland was the first, and we’re very happy to reveal that Ira Lightman, poet and word-dabbler extraordinary, will be our 8th Digital Poet in Residence. Ira’s residency is called ’21st Century Canto’. He explains: “All my adult life I have been fascinated with The…

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Re: Drafts – “Start lying about your age”, and other thoughts on biographical notes

As I write this, the latest edition of The Rialto is at the proofing stage and the last of the biographical notes are slipping in by the skin of their teeth. It feels a bit strange, having spent months getting to know poems, to now have a task focused on poets. In most cases the…

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Dear Diary: an interview with Laura Barnicoat

An Interview with Laura Barnicoat

The Great Diary Project is a repository for unwanted diaries of any date and kind. In the pages of the 2,000+ diaries collected for the project so far are the most remarkable details of everyday life, often overlooked in the history books. In preparation for The Poetry School’s Summer Workshop ‘Dear Diary’ at The Bishopsgate…

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The Anti-Poetic: an interview with Julian Stannard

An Interview with Julian Stannard

Hi Julian! Tell us more about your course, ‘The Anti-Poetic‘… Julian: Calling the workshop ‘The Anti-Poetic’ is a bit of a conceit. I want to see if we can write poems we might not normally write. These workshops explore what might be called (paradoxically) the anti-poetic, namely the writing of a poem which somehow escapes…

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Love, Death, Art, Time and Nature: an interview with Sarah Corbett

An Interview with Sarah Corbett

Tell us more about your new course, ‘Love, Death, Time, Art and Nature…‘. What brought you to the subject? Sarah: I was asked to do five sessions that would appeal to students at various stages in their development, so my idea was to take five ‘themes’, and to treat each session as a unit in…

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Meet the Digital Poet in Residence: Ross Sutherland

An Interview with Ross Sutherland

In which Ross Sutherland answers questions about his  ’30 Poems / 30 Videos’ project, the distinctions between film poetry and poetry film, and what all this writing lark is about anyway.         Ross Sutherland is The Poetry School’s 7th Digital Poet in Residence. You can also read about his residency here, or join the ’30…

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How I Did It: ‘Poem in which the girl has no door on her mouth’

In Anne Carson’s essay The Gender of Sound (from Glass, Irony and God, printed as Glass and God in the UK edition, and strangely omitting The Gender of Sound altogether) she writes of ‘…the haunting garrulity of the nymph Echo (daughter of Iambe in Athenian legend) who is described by Sophokles as “the girl with…

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‘Liberating Poetic Chaos’

Sylvia Plath worked hard at her poetry throughout the 1950s.  She studied, read widely and mastered a range of poetic techniques, writing hundreds of poems.  Her work received awards and prizes, was published in magazines and Plath was regarded as — and regarded herself as — a ‘success’.  However, by 1960, Plath had become dissatisfied…

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Silent Spells: poems from our Manchester Museum project

Last year, the Poetry School dispatched a group of poets, led by Helen Mort, to the Manchester Museum and let them explore its endless curiosities – whale skeletons, hunched tigers and delicate paper birds – guided by the wisdom of Anna Bunney, Curator of Public Programmes, who introduced some of the Museum’s rarest objects and…

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CAMPUS Pamphlet: ‘Silent Spells’

Last year, the Poetry School dispatched a group of poets, led by Helen Mort, to the Manchester Museum and let them explore its endless curiosities – whale skeletons, hunched tigers and delicate paper birds – guided by the wisdom of Anna Bunney, Curator of Public Programmes, who introduced some of the Museum’s rarest objects and…

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The first Digital Poet in Residence of 2015

We’re elated to announce that poet, writer, film-maker and human tornado, Ross Sutherland, will be our next Digital Poet in Residence. For his residency – ’30 Videos / 30 Poems’ – Ross will create thirty new films over March to April 2015, while he tours across the UK with his show Standby For Tape Backup. Each new film will be a…

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Pub Chat: an interview with Shearsman Books

An Interview with Shearsman Books

In the latest of our series of feature-length interviews with independent publishers, set in our imaginary poetry theatre pub somewhere in Lambeth, we spoke to Tony Frazer of Shearsman Books… Hello there, Tony! What are you drinking? Tony: Tequila, Herradura Reposado. How long has Shearsman been running? Tony: Well, the magazine (Shearsman) started in 1981. The first pamphlets appeared…

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Prose Poets: ‘Of La!’

  Over there! Cries the thief, pointing away from himself and the victim as he picks a pocket. While the attention is focused on one thing at a distance, some switch is made about the victim’s person. Only later, in a moment of condensing awareness does the victim feel the change. Something about them is…

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Summer 2015 courses in one line or less

LONDON – SHORT COURSES The Tao of Poetry with Liane Strauss – reviltalise your poetic practices as Liane shares her love of classical Chinese poetry with you Developing a Style with Tim Dooley – develop your own poetic voice in conversation with the best of poetic tradition Alien Vs Predator with Kathryn Gray – poetry…

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How I Did It: ‘The Cattle Farmer’s Tale’

Imagination, being by definition un-willed, often comes in unexpectedly, the result of some chance encounter or coincidence. We can’t will ourselves into a genuinely imaginative space. We can work with what imagination provides – uncover the form, improve the syntax, work to complete the poem – but imagination itself is uncanny, unbiddable. Imagination always takes…

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‘The Garage, Tours’

As to what’s here, I can give you some idea: Various artifacts that Grammie brought back from the Philippines – probably one box                                                              All part of life’s rich tapestry. Shoes and clothing – probably at least two large boxes or equivalent                                                              You can tell a man by his shoes. Your Dad’s…

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‘Globalization Detritus’

Quivering pedal steel Green-winged dove Dilapidated keyboards from an ancient Commodore 64 Hendricks and tonic with a twist Failed expectations Dinner guests arriving early Maasai warrior with 3rd gen. iPhone Heavily-marketed ISIS You Tubes Traffic oceans on the 101 North Impossible bouts of insomnia Pre-planned pregnancies Unfortunate haircuts Hammond organs Cosmologist at his wit’s end…

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J O Morgan’s ‘At Maldon’

J O Morgan has confronted history in the form of the Battle of Maldon. It`s a real event that occurred in 991 AD, a battle between Anglo-Saxons led by Byrhtnoth the earldoman or local military leader and a Viking invasion horde led by Olaf Tryggvason a Viking prince. It took place near Northey Island a…

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Re: Drafts – ‘The Cab Rank Principle’

I’ve been thinking about the law over the last couple of weeks. Not that I’m in any trouble I hasten to add – apart from the usual one that I’m sure some of you have also been quizzed on by other members of the family: “Yes this poeting is all well and good, but when…

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Prose Poets: ‘Of Abstraction’

  It’s one of the great, gratifying surprises to discover that Dr Johnson was an Objectivist. Epochs ahead of his time, he extols in his 1755 dictionary the virtues of paying attention to the world itself – the world of objects – in a manner that would surely have met with approval from William Carlos…

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Meeting Kit

Anyone who loves reading knows that there’s only one thing better than words. In certain books it’s hard to even call those things ‘pictures’ because that sort of suggests something flat and two dimensional that you can rest your cup of tea on. In those books, what we are actually talking about is a) windows…

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How I Did It: ‘On First Meeting Margot’

One Thursday afternoon in May 2014, I left my Poetry School class and headed to Waterloo for the train home. On Lower Marsh, I bumped into my friend Alice, who I had not seen for quite some time. With her was Margot, her small daughter whose father is a close friend of mine, the poet…

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This Enchanted Isle: reading W H Auden’s ‘The Sea and The Mirror’

Shakespeare’s The Tempest contains a potent mix of the worldly (politics, power, parenthood) and the other-worldly (myth, magic, monsters). In the mercurial spirit Ariel and the earthy, ‘monstrous’ Caliban, elemental forces are given free rein to express their desires, while Prospero delivers some of the most famous lines in all literature:                                                  These our…

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Residents Association

Have you ever been a resident poet? Did your local stately home / barbershop / ironmongers invite you to soak up their atmosphere, talk to their customers and create new poems from the experience? We’d like to hear from you if so … The Poetry School is working on an exciting new project which will…

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Prosodies in the US & the UK: A TransAtlantic Coda

When Kathryn and I started our residency, the one topic we were sure we would discuss was the difference between the poetry scenes in the US and the UK. Of course, that never happened—it’s like how the song you buy the album for becomes the song you start skipping first (well, before iTunes). So here…

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