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1215.today Poet-in-Residence Round Up: Week 3

On Monday, our 1215.today poet-in-residence Remi Graves wrote about ‘Word and Image: exploring the interplay of poetry and art‘, and covered such varied ground as Theresa May’s tweets, the art of Jean-Michel Basquiat and snapchat.   On Tuesday, Remi looked at a new and striking artwork / poem by Jörg Piringer, and challenged her readers to “play…

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‘The Zoo of Doo’

Wombat, do you do doo? I do do doo! And let me tell you something new; The doo I do is square! It’s true! When I do doo, I poop a cube! Do you do doo like I do doo? Bird, do you do doo? I do do doo! And let me tell you something…

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‘As Long As’

You can dye your hair violet or live in the trees, you can paint funny faces on each of your knees, you can bathe in a bath full of thick sticky slime, you can do what you like – as long as you’re kind. You can wear your pyjamas to dinner or tea, you can…

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‘Johnny, who was too good and suffered the consequences’

Young Johnny was always a good little child, Not prone to be lazy or spiteful or wild, Occasionally naughty but generally nice, And yet, for his parents, this didn’t suffice. They didn’t want average. They wanted the best. They wanted their son to outshine all the rest, With model behaviour at all times of day,…

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‘Caroline and the Scissors’

Caroline, Caz to me and you, was errant daughter number two. Diana, daughter number one, it seemed to Caz had all the fun – she’d scissors that could really cut, a doll that walked and wee-weed – but Caz was the sharper of the two and knew exactly what to do to put her sister…

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1215.today Residency Round-Up: Week 2

Our 1215.today poet-in-residence Remi Graves kicked off the week talking about ‘subversion’ – in poetry and art – and the (not-so-noble) history of Magna Carta. On Tuesday, Remi ‘Haiku-ised’ the famous Clause  40, and on Wednesday she explored the art of Yinka Shonibare, which “subverts his role as an outsider as a Nigerian-British and disabled artist,…

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1215.today Poet-in-Residence Remi Graves: Residency Round-Up. Week One

Our new Poetry School 1215.today digital poet-in-residence Remi Graves has had an amazingly productive first week, posting six (!) articles, including playlists and poems.  Here’s a taster of what she’s been up to: 14/05: Asking Our New Poet-in-Residence the Questions That Really Matter: “What was the first poem you had a real connection with? “Elizabeth Bishop’s…

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Our Summer School Programme 2017

Cold weather getting you down? Tired of needing your umbrella every day? Sick of woolly jumpers? Well fear not! Our Summer School is just the ticket for those winter blues. Drums please! We’ve asked some of our favourite poets to run a series of half-day workshops at the end of July, focusing on their passion projects and trying out some…

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Review: ‘Savage’ by Rebecca Tamás

It’s fitting that the first word in Savage (Clinic) is ‘please’, thus priming the reader for the pamphlet’s themes of vulnerability and need. Indeed, much of Rebecca Tamás’ technique hinges on a kind of self-psychoanalysis, an exploration of the individual’s sacred/profane duality as revealed by ‘love that’s virulent, ugly, nutshell tight, / love that throws out…

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Re: Review: ‘White Hills’ by Chloe Stopa-Hunt

What is it that makes poetry special, different, or unique? What makes a poet important? The answer must lie somewhere beyond form or subject – beyond, that is to say, anything I am able to mention here. The poems in White Hills (Clinic) have been described as ‘weirdly beautiful’, possessed of a ‘strange grandeur’. These…

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Open Workshop: ‘Freedom in Confinement’ with Remi Graves

Excavate and explore the theme of confinement in order to find new freedoms in writing about the self, with our 1215today Digital Poet in Residence, Remi Graves. Used in its modern context, confinement refers to a state of being limited or constricted. It’s rarer, and older definition however relates to ‘the condition of being in…

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‘Lament for Didcot A’

I will lament your cooling towers, those pale hyperboloids monumental as a temple for giants. I will lament their demolition, each falling to its knees in slow motion like a man hamstrung in battle who dies in the dust keening for glory that will never be sung. I will lament the dragon of your superheater…

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Review: ‘Fossil’ by Maya Chowdhry

In Fossil (Peepal Tree Press) Maya Chowdhry brings beauty to eco-politics, taking us on a journey across the globe and beyond, experimenting with scale, time and voice to inquire into and imagine the condition of the non-human world. I found that the emotional power of this collection of thirty free verse poems accumulated as I…

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Primers Vol 2 London Launch – 20 June

We’re incredibly excited to be holding a London launch for our Primers Vol. 2 poets to celebrate their work and the publication of the book by Nine Arches Press. We’d love for you to join us at Waterstones Piccadilly on Tuesday 20 June from 7pm, where the three poets Ben Bransfield, Cynthia Miller and Marvin Thompson will be reading from their work….

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Review: ‘Alarum’ by Wayne Holloway-Smith

Whilst reviewing Wayne Holloway-Smith’s debut Alarum (Bloodaxe Books), I found myself reading sections aloud to friends in the pub, partly because Alarum is enviably good, but also because I couldn’t quite get my head around it. Hilarious and witty, it’s also terrifically sad, but wears its tragedy so lightly at first it’s hard to notice. ‘Doo-wop’,…

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‘Portrait of my unborn children’

Number one enjoys lemongrass soup as she sails the Yangtze alone. Number two saves lives on the streets of this city with his soft, warm mouth. Number three never saw the bike turning right on the day we found bees. Number four was left behind and always wondered who she belonged to. Number five found…

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‘To My Mother Who Never Touched a Drop’

When I meet her in Hourican’s Bar I will bring the picture resurrected from the derelict farmhouse, last summer. My great Uncle Phil will offer me a glass. I’ll reluctantly sip the bitter-black and lick the froth from my lip. For once my mother will sit in silence – but not out of spite. When…

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‘The Pocket Mirror’

Born from the belly of a Christmas cracker Stomach ripped apart and I fireworked into her world my birth announced by a muted crash and a sombre joke. I remained a closed up tinted truth lodged sub-sofa for five dark and lights. She found me, her warm hand scooped me up and pocketed me into…

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‘Making a Seagull Kite’

We add Tyvek wings — of course he must fly. We intend him to be tear-resistant, water-proof. We check his spine and cross spar, the bridle with its anchor points. Secure enough, light and strong for support in winds that could swivel or shatter him. We paste on a beak and feathers with spray and…

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‘To Get Away From Mother’s Flat’

[pass] her front door two flights of stairs the 50-year-old smell of dust and cooking communal notice board of orders and restrictions the flat where the voluble neighbour lived and died [nudge] the heavy inner doors [push] the heavy outer door [leap] that single step [skip] down the path across the garden [pass] the bench…

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‘War Baby’

Beautiful? Yes. Curled unborn on a statesman’s tongue. My lips are stoppered by my thumb. But his round wet mouth births missiles, cradles such fire. His speech has launched me. I wail, my frail cartilage rammed into shells. I’m his navy ship in dark waters. I’m his warhead, his ice-white arc in the night. Touch…

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‘We KNOW what art is! It’s PAINTINGS of HORSES!’ – an interview with Adam Crothers

The Ugliness Studio with Adam Crothers is a three-week intensive online course beginning on June 5th 2017. Here Adam talks to Rebecca Watts about the literary uses and abuses of bad language, bad form and bad taste. … Before we talk about the course you’re running for the Poetry School in June, I must congratulate…

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‘Afterwards’

The January light was more notable, the day I went back for his belongings to the room where he died; magnolia buds presented themselves differently, they uplifted as though nothing could compel death to reach inside their grey skin. His climbing boots, paired neatly as we had never been, and his torn denims left on…

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Poem in Your Pocket Day

Every April people celebrate Poem in Your Pocket Day by selecting a poem, carrying it with them, and sharing it with others. This year The Poetry School have joined the festivities and produced some special postcards to showcase a selection of wonderful poems written by our students. You can find physical copies of these postcards in…

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CAMPUS Pamphlet – Paradise Lost: ‘An Express Elevator to Hell’

350 years ago to the day, John Milton signed his publishing contract for 1,500 copies of Paradise Lost. If you’ve not got the room on your bookshelves or the pennies in the jar to pick up this $750,000 first edition, we’re delighted to alleviate that problem by delivering a free, digital pamphlet of poems in response to…

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