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‘Mistress’

Nobody comes from Nairobi. She’s a creation a fiction thrown together for a railway line. Watch how in December the city empties after Jamhuri Day the lovers deserting her to return to the patient village wife who moves like a chameleon over the years demanding little apart from a constant acknowledgement that the city will…

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Primers II Poets Announced!

The manuscripts are dog-eared and the Judges dog-tired, but we are now delighted to be able to make the final announcement in our second Primers publishing and mentoring scheme. The three writers who we are going to take forward to publication in April are … Ben Bransfield Cynthia Miller Marvin Thompson Jane Commane, the judge and…

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How I Did It – Michael Marks Edition: Lizzi Thistlethwayte ‘lovesong’

I am aware of an emotional landscape rooted within a geographical one that may bear no outward resemblance to a particular place; merely that there are echoes, reference points. I recognize something. I know I need to pin it down. By ‘pinning it down’ I mean trying to understand by exploring different ways of ‘seeing’;…

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Affordability: Concessions, discounts, payment plans, bursaries and free resources.

Can’t afford the full price of one of our courses? Don’t despair – there are options available. Concessions: If you’re under 25, a full-time student, or receive Jobseekers Allowance, Income Support, Working Tax Credit, Universal Credit, Pension Credit, income-related ESA or if your sole source of income is the state retirement pension, you’re eligible for…

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Islands, poetry and getting away from it all

I remember giving a set of poems at ‘Reading the Leaves’, a night in Tchai Ovna in Glasgow where I liked to try out new work alongside other poets, novelists and writers.  The poems in my set were mostly new, and seemed to arise independently of one another, but a striking commonality revealed itself as…

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‘Ghost Soldier’

He might have slept a hundred years, to wake bareheaded, roll-up warm against his palm, as if the curse that sent them back to war had been a dream – and here another spit and polish day of buckled brass, of shining chestnut boots, the station concourse bright with rain, of stainless benches, orderly trees,…

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How I Did It: Michael Marks Edition: Fiona Moore ‘Sleep Sonnet’

SLEEP SONNET I last touched the world of sleep at     midday when sun shone through and through a train and the woman     opposite was painting her nails an ocean of deep red     stations trailed unreal names jolted words away from language     upholstered in grey/blue now through night without corridors     or sleep or stars my mind…

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‘Bucharest’

and if I had to build myself a past here this must be the ministry where years later they processed my papers here is the museum I walked around hung-over that one day I spent in this city over there the apartment Andrei told me about that night walking through Leblon where his mother hid…

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‘Song Without Words
’

music everywhere, rolling in secretive oceans, slicking trees, curling like smoke over hills and hummocks, sounds from centuries of mandolins and flutes, harps, bayans, dulcimers, citterns hovering, a universe of stray notes fluttering around their stranded bodies. If only they could hear it stuck in a silent siding, facing each other wondering who will be…

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Derivatives, Reflection, Homage: An Interview with Róisín Tierney

The Michael Marks Award-winning poet Róisín Tierney will be running our Spring 2017 course ‘Derivatives, Reflection, Homage‘. We caught up with her for a chat about the course, and what she’s up to at the moment. Hi Róisín. Your new course with us is called ‘Derivatives, Reflection, Homage’. Could you tell us a little bit about your…

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How I Did It – Michael Marks Edition – ‘Anne Whittle (alias Chattox)’

“Wigged w/ cirrus”, “I shall be in a woman’s likeness…” and “LISTEN”: these are among the first notes I put toward the Malkin sequence, scribbling with sudden enthusiasm on a train from Lancaster to Cambridge back in June 2014 (the muses, as has been well-documented, often take the train). The Pendle Witches had fascinated me…

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40% off Poetry London subscriptions for Poetry School Students!

As a special offer for this term, students who book a course or one-day workshop at the Poetry School can get a year’s subscription to Poetry London for just £15 – 40% off the standard price of £25! Poetry London is an arts charity and leading international poetry magazine where acclaimed contemporary poets share pages…

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Review: ‘The Way to Work’ by Tom French

Tom French’s fourth collection, The Way to Work, continues to explore the territory he has been making his own since his astonishing 2001 debut, Touching the Bones. The usual French hallmarks – seriousness, sincerity, family, the past, rural Ireland – are very much present and correct. The Way to Work is a generous, wide-ranging collection,…

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‘Wasn’t It All Twinkly When We Sang Happy Birthday?’

Marilyn Monroe’s ‘Happy Birthday, Mr President’ dress sells for record $4.8m – BBC News I hated the storage years, each of my hand-stitched crystals dulled by moths and cobwebs. I craved Madison Square again, the night they sewed you in to my rib-chafing tightness, my flesh-coloured brashness. Under the lights, you shrugged your fur from…

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‘Lotus Feet’

He’s expecting daintiness a man might cup in his hands. She tells how Great-Aunt Li arrived one winter. Her mother wept but she was a brave child, dreamed of dancing at the Emperor’s court. Great-Aunt soaked her feet in herbs and animal blood, scrunched the little toes, pressed them sideways against the sole then wound…

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Primers II Shortlist – Samuel Prince

Just in time for the judges’ final decision, we reach the final of our showcases of the Primers II shortlist. This is a great chance to read once again poems from Ben Bransfield, Cynthia Miller, Emma Jeremy, Marjorie Lofti Gill, Marvin Thompson, Matthew Dixon, Michelle Penn, Miranda Peake & Paul Adrian to see just how hard Jane and Jacob’s choice is. The final poet we are celebrating…

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Primers II Shortlist: Michelle Penn

We’re continuing to give you a sneak peek into the poets shortlisted for this year’s Primers programme of mentoring and publication, which we are running in collaboration with Nine Arches Press. Editor Jane Commane & poet Jacob Sam-La Rose are nearing their decision about who will make the final three, and we’re getting you involved…

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Rachel Long Wins Paterson / Poetry School Competition

And that’s a wrap on the Poetry School / Soda Pictures Paterson competiton!  Thank you to all of you who entered your diary poems. We loved reading your various approaches to the quotidian. A lot of autumn leaves were fluttering about in your poems, many cats were frolicking among them, and Donald Trump was the…

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Primers II Shortlist: Matthew Dixon

Welcome to this showcase of a poet shortlisted for Primers II. For fraction fans, this makes us 6/10 of the way through our list of shortlisted poets, and 3/5 of the way through those poets whose name begin with ‘M’ – poetic symmetry! Poems from both Marjorie and Marvin have already been showcased on CAMPUS…

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Primers II Shortlist – Paul Adrian

Welcome to our penultimate peek into the poetry of our Primers II candidates. As the judges’ final decision gets ever closer, we’ve been showcasing a poem from each poet on the shortlist – you can already read work from Ben Bransfield, Cynthia Miller, Emma Jeremy, Marjorie Lofti Gill, Marvin Thompson, Matthew Dixon, Michelle Penn & Miranda Peake. And next up, it’s a pleasure…

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Primers II Shortlist – Miranda Peake

We’re delighted to be able to show you a poem from each of our ten brilliant shortlisted poets for the second Primers programme, run in association with Nine Arches Press. So far, we’ve posted work by Ben Bransfield, Cynthia Miller, Emma Jeremy, Marjorie Lofti Gill, Marvin Thompson, Matthew Dixon & Michelle Penn so do have a read of their work by following the links! But today’s…

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Primers II Shortlist: Marvin Thompson

We’ve reached the half-way point of our look at the ten poets shortlisted for Primers Volume II. We’ve thoroughly enjoyed the work of Ben Bransfield, Cynthia Miller, Emma Jeremy & Marjorie Lofti Gill so far and we are delighted to introduce you to the work of another poet now. Judges Jane Commane and Jacob Sam-La Rose are currently considering…

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The Spring 2017 Programme – in two lines or less!

Taking our lead from David Tait and Jennie Osborne this term, we’ve tried to give a concise run-down of our Spring 2017 courses, using just two lines or less! Short Courses A Conversation with the Past (Modernisms) with Tim Dooley: Consider how the innovations of modernism influenced the direction of poetry and workshop new poems in…

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Primers II Shortlist: Marjorie Lotfi Gill

We’re already a few poets into showcasing the Primers II shortlist. If you missed them, you can read poems by Primers shortlistees Ben Bransfield, Cynthia Miller & Emma Jeremy. But today’s post is all about… Marjorie Lotfi Gill Marjorie Lotfi Gill was the first Poet in Residence at Jupiter Artland (2014-2016) and Spring Fling/Wigtown Book Festival (2015). Marjorie’s poems…

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Review: ‘Dirt’ by William Letford

Billy Letford’s first collection Bevel found the poet grappling with graft, family and home and in his keenly anticipated follow-up Dirt, he keeps these themes close to heart while venturing further afield, never ‘feart’ to get his hands dirty. There is the staple poetry you would expect from Letford here: elegy, anger and memory. But…

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