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Sharpened Into Absence: poems inspired by the Polar Museum, Scott Research Polar Institute

Earlier this year, the Poetry School collaborated with the Scott Polar Research Institute in Cambridge on a series of poetry workshops. Led by Lucy Hamilton and Lucy Sheerman, students explored the museum’s exhibits, research and artefacts in search of inspiration for new work. Via the first of a new series of ‘CAMPUS Pamphlets’ we’re delighted…

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CAMPUS Pamphlet: ‘Sharpened Into Absence’

Earlier this year, the Poetry School collaborated with the Scott Polar Research Institute in Cambridge on a series of poetry workshops. Led by Lucy Hamilton and Lucy Sheerman, students explored the museum’s exhibits, research and artefacts in search of inspiration for new work. Via the first of a new series of ‘CAMPUS Pamphlets’ we’re delighted…

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The Page of Love, or, ‘Some nice things people have said about us recently’

I would be lost without The Poetry School courses. Olivia Dawson, 2 July 2014, CAMPUS   I have really enjoyed the course and everything Poetry School is doing for the cause of promoting this art … Personally, as I’ve never had any formal feedback/training it has been nothing short of utterly inspirational. Jake Higgins, April 2014,…

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Poetry of public and social engagement

A trawl of the poetry-publishing magazines and presses confirms that there is a lot of well-written, intelligent and sensitive poetry around today. However, much of it is pretty samey — first-person lyric poetry stimulated by occasion, experience and impression. The poet encounters something more or less out of the blue — a landscape, a ‘feeling’,…

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Where do good ideas come from?

Well there’s a doozy of a question. For as long as we’ve been online, there’s been a lot of fervent chatter on the CAMPUS-sphere about where to look for ideas for new poems. Well, dear readers, if we had the magical formula we’d have already shut up shop, moved to the Bahamas and started banging…

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Twilight of the Iguana: interview with Isobel Dixon

Tell us about your workshop …? Isobel: The natural world is a continuing obsession in my work. My last collection The Tempest Prognosticator is teeming with creatures from life and art – from the energetic toktokkie beetle to Damien Hirst’s pickled shark, from Henri Rousseau’s ‘Merry Jester’ apes in their lush jungle, to the poor…

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Poetry School to guest edit Butcher’s Dog #4

We’re thrilled to announce that The Poetry School will be Guest Editor of issue #4, from submissions to launch, giving poets and readers an understanding of the things magazine editors are looking for and dispelling a few myths along the way. Send us your poems! The submission deadline for Butcher’s Dog #4 will be published in…

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Pub chat: interview with The Emma Press

An Interview with Emma Wright

In the first of a regular series of feature-length interviews with independent publishers, we met over a few rounds with Emma Wright in our imaginary poetry theatre pub somewhere in Lambeth, asked her about the early days of The Emma Press and why she believes it’s never been a more exciting time to be going…

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The Great Escape: interview with Chrissy Williams

Tell us about your workshop Chrissy: It’s called ‘The Great Escape’, and it will involve generating new poems infused with exotic locations and unfamiliar imagery. We carry ourselves with us wherever we go, but maybe doing it in a new place, visually, sensually, will yield some interesting results. I’ve got some exciting places to share…

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Poetry Postcards: interview with Rishi Dastidar

Tell us about your workshop Rishi: Postcards, of all shapes, sizes and hues, were some of the first things I ever collected – I used to have scrapbooks filled with them, and I rather hope their still in the loft at my parents’ house. My mania for them might have subsided over the years, but…

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Poetic Trip Advisor: interview with Claire Trévien

Tell us about your workshop Claire: It’s going to be a playful take on the poetry review workshop, which will hopefully encourage more people to give it a go… Does travel broaden the mind? Claire: Only when travellers get off the beaten track (of their mind/space). Going anywhere nice on your holidays this year? Claire: Doing the…

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Autumn 2014 courses in one line or less

L O N D O N   –   L O N G   C O U R S ES Advanced Poetry Workshop with Mimi Khalvati (afternoons and evenings) In-depth feedback on your poems in progress Form & Music with Roddy Lumsden A technical approach to poetry for advanced writers Take Your Writing Further with…

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‘My Shrink’s Window’

lacks trees. And branches, which can never be placated when they strain forward to rap knuckles. Her branchless window negates the passing of time. What is old is as old as the rising of the sap. Branches fork in endless possibilities making bids for freedom yet are inescapably attached, as though redemption lies in following…

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‘The Fire Station’

is a box of matches wedged in the kitchen drawer between polio jabs, BMX wheelies, oily King marbles like dark planets, the car park sign that made us snigger, asking if you had remembered to pay and display your ticket cock when you took us to Beacon Park in the courgette green Hunter the days…

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‘Bark n’ Howl’

Your swing is a siren calling me outlaw, work of the devil made taboo like the jigerboo boogie-man I am ordered to play, pull over & pull your pants down but I’ve got no banana tree or fig leaf stashed just my horn under the dash & blues on my hands blues drippin’ down a…

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Announcing The Poetry School / Pighog Poetry Pamphlet Competition Winner!

Pighog and The Poetry School are delighted to announce the winner of our second annual pamphlet competition. Judges Simon Barraclough and Catherine Smith whittled down more than 600 entries to a shortlist of thirteen, then awarded the first place in the competition to … Natacha Bryan for her pamphlet If I talked everything my eyes…

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‘My Dad has decided’

we’re going to the moon. He walks around the bedroom in his socks while we try to guess what we’re supposed to do next. We’re supposed to know his thoughts, to know about the moon, even though he hasn’t told us. He expects us to read his mind. When I question him he turns on…

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‘Long Love’

He laced up his sneakers and left for a jog as raccoons stumbled from trash cans back to the woods at dawn. Soon the house was awake. His wife fixing lunches, boys slurping oatmeal. He raced the three boys to the bus and walked back home whistling and wondering if today was a day for…

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Open Workshop: ‘Half-remembered Things’

A brand new Open Workshop for Summer with Rialto poet, Jen Campbell. In this workshop, Jen will get you to dig through your childhood memories, picking out something half-remembered and twisting it into something new. You might change something small, or transform it into a whole new tale. You’ll then put this story into a…

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‘You’ve got potential, baby’

Sometimes it’s a battery or a newly discovered stem cell. A vaccine in early trials. The half-second of still before the referee’s whistle. Tiny hands. Or it’s an explosion, a chemical trigger that pushes molecules from here to there. A release of pure energy in a too-small space. Other times it’s the short dash after…

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Final logbook: ‘I am happy to report however that my husband is still speaking to me’

I’m writing my last post for the residency at 12.30pm on a school night – most of the things I’ve written as part of the residency have happened late at night – after I’ve finished teaching and been for a run, or after I’ve finished conducting my junior band or after I’ve got back from…

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#poetwisdom

1. When writing a cover letter to a magazine, don’t compare yourself to Shakespeare. 2. At a poetry workshop, don’t say ‘It’s too late to change this poem, I’ve already sent it to the Queen’. 3. Don’t introduce yourself at a poetry residential course by saying ‘my name is Elspeth/Ivy/Agnes but you can call me…

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‘Concentrating, When One Ought Not’

I should have brought a clipboard. Note: four creases in the pillows. Note: the sides of wardrobes and desk-lamps bent back in a night not quite black enough: tough buffer-zones in a nesting-box. There are twelve bars fizzing on the surface of a clock that imply the time. Note: a touch, seeking a reach, a…

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‘Hospital Visitors’

A sharp gust of river air makes me look up, sensing some commotion at the distant end of the corridor. Wild and heedless, pressing towards me full of fathomless intent, striped by the light from high-vaulted windows, knocking soft cartilage against the walls, three mud-flecked swans smelling of tundra dip and lift their fearsome, faintly…

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Just One Poem

When I first started writing all I wanted to do was to have one poem published. Just one, I told myself, and then I would be happy. I didn’t think beyond this because I didn’t really believe it would happen. It was the poet Jennifer Copley who told me about poetry magazines and persauded me…

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