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Meet the Digital Poet in Residence: interview with Jay Bernard

An Interview with Jay Bernard

Hi Jay. Your residency is centred around an interactive poem – ‘An Untitled Text Adventure’ – that you’re going to build and document over a period of 5 weeks. Tell us more about the project. Jay: I had this idea last year and wanted to make something really ambitious in time for the WWI centenary….

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‘Brother tongue’

This song is for my brother across the water, whose raised eyebrow by email is a flicker in which I do believe. I sing the praises of his silences which sweep up the dead leaves of sound I praise his photos of girlfriends leaning on pillars in temples the light hitting them sideways. For he…

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Animal Magick

It is perhaps not surprising that The Faber Book of Beasts, edited by Paul Muldoon, has been consistently in the top 50 of Amazon UK’s best-selling poetry titles since its publication in 1998. The earliest cave drawings depict humans alongside animals. Creatures have provided the imagination with the essential content for mythologies and allegories; they…

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Transreading Central Europe

When I mention I translate contemporary Polish poetry, I’m often asked: ‘Do you translate Szymborska?’ ‘I might, but I don’t,’ I explain, ‘there’re so many other poets who deserve equal attention.’ By now Szymborska, Różewicz, Herbert, Miłosz and Zagajewski have become household names also in English; they’re fortunate to have some poems in more than…

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‘The Manacles, at Porthoustock’

This is what you gave me, Salvaged from a memory: Watching from the headland. Pointing from the outside in. You named the rocks, Sung them in a circle, Gave them their voice as they stirred in slack water. Penwin; Morah; Maen Voes. And those that came rising from the sea, The finger bones of witches,…

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Announcing our 4th Digital Poet in Residence… Jay Bernard

We’re very excited to announce that Jay Bernard will be The Poetry School’s 4th Digital Poet in Residence, following on from previous residencees Kim Moore, Alex MacDonald and Claire Trévien. Jay’s ‘An Untitled Text Adventure’ starts this Monday 11 August 2014, in which she will write and create a prototype for an online text adventure. These grew…

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The Poetry of Parenthood

The images coming from Gaza at the moment show mutilated and dying children.  It would be tempting to say that as a parent you feel the horror more, but this is smug nonsense: people without children are just as capable of compassion.  What a parent feels is, instead, perhaps more complicated – my compassion is…

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Pub chat: interview with Candlestick Press

An Interview with Candlestick Press

In the 2nd of our new series of feature-length interviews with independent publishers, we took afternoon tea with Jenny Swann and Di Slaney of Candlestick Press in our imaginary poetry theatre pub somewhere in Lambeth… Hello there! What are you drinking? Jenny:  Coffee, from one of those traditional French green-and-gold cups but minus the saucer….

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Scotland small? A Century of Scottish Poetry

Buried in one of Hugh MacDiarmid’s long, later poems (‘Direadh’) is a clear passage that strikes the reader like an angry epiphany:   Scotland small? Our multiform, our infinite Scotland small? Only as a patch of hillside may be a cliché corner To a fool who cries ‘Nothing but heather!’ (…)   MacDiarmid then moves…

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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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