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Review: ‘All the Prayers in the House’ by Miriam Nash

All the Prayers in the House opens with a short and incantatory poem called ‘Vesper’ that shrouds the collection in mystery before it has even really begun. In its broadest sense, it means ‘evening’, but it could also apply to the candlelit evening prayers of the Presbyterian Church. This in itself conjures up the predominant faith…

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‘Drawing Poetry’: An Experimental Residency – Call for Applications!

‘Drawing Poetry’: An Experimental Residency with The Poetry School and the Centre for Recent Drawing. The Poetry School and the Centre for Recent Drawing are seeking applicants for a new experimental research and practice residency. The residency aims to explore the intersection and cross-pollination of poetry and drawing, and provide an opportunity for creative research,…

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Autumn 2017: Course Quick Guide

Autumn Term 2017 is now open for booking! The opening of this new academic year marks the beginning of our 20th anniversary year: a year in which we’ll be celebrating two decades of making poetry happen with exciting events, our festival partnership with Poetry in Aldeburgh, and, of course, brilliant courses, workshops, tutorials and opportunities to…

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Your National Writing Day ‘One-Breath Poems’

For National Writing Day last week, we asked people to write ‘One-Breath Poems‘ – fastpaced, free-flowing poems to be read on one lungful of air – and the response has been fantastic! Following on from the sterling efforts of the children at Chew Valley Primary School, the students of Rugby High School, and their teacher Olga…

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‘The Same Again’

The pub is lazy wallpaper, psychedelic carpet, the same as yesterday. I sink to the bar, forget what to order while the Friday night dehydrated potted plants wait with sucked teeth, and I want nothing more than to eat all the crisps or marinate in a warm pint of ale and lick my failed ambition…

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National Writing Day: Poetry School Creative Director Julia Bird On Making a Living as a Poet

Last week, I was on leave from The Poetry School. I work here for three days a week, but the other 40% of my working life is filled with freelance projects. Of those freelance projects, most are run through my own company, Jaybird Live Literature, which specialises in putting poets on stage in – to…

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National Writing Day: Publisher Emma Wright on Setting Up a Small Press

When I started the Emma Press in 2012, I knew very little about small presses or poetry publishing. I came from a background of tech blogging and major trade publishing, which I’d stumbled into after completing a Classics degree, and my Prince’s Trust business mentor was in the electronics industry. Additionally, my initial idea was…

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National Writing Day: Anthony Anaxagorou on Working as a Poet

As any poet will confess, forging a career in poetry is an extremely long and precarious process. One that involves not only having to constantly work on the craft of writing, but also to be commercially intelligent enough to accept that today poetry tends to need more than just poetry to sell. My journey is…

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How I Did It – Primers Volume Two: Marvin Thompson on ‘What are your thoughts on comedians using the N word?’

What are your thoughts on comedians using the N word? from ‘An Interview with Comedy Genius Olivier Welsh’ There’s a documentary with only nine views that explains how the N-word spawned from a need to dehumanise people of a dark hue so cotton profits would feel less like greed or sin. The word’s history is…

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New Definitions and Neologisms: Interview with Kate Potts

Ahead of her summer one-day workshop on The Poetry of Dictionaries, we caught up with Kate Potts to find out what students can expect. JT: Hi Kate. Thanks for answering a few questions for us! So New Definitions and Neologisms: The Poetry of Dictionaries – it’s quite a workshop title! Can you tell us a little more…

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Review: ‘Useful Verses’ by Richard Osmond

I’m delighted to be able to begin this book review with the following sentence: Absolutely central to the emotional, conceptual and aesthetic positions of Richard Osmond’s Useful Verses (Picador) is the figure of the mushroom. That might seem hard to believe, but it’s testament to Osmond’s strength as a writer that he’s capable, in the…

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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 Long View, Arnside

The tide was in then out again. So fast it was bewildering: fishing boats flew like leaves, flimsy, unsubstantial, in the streaming gale. The piers grew tall, dripping black weed, the sandbanks breathed and expanded their honeycomb flanks, then, whalelike, plunged again. The vapour they exuded could easily have been children paddling, crouching, digging, growing…

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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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