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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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Primers II Shortlist: Emma Jeremy

Time for another glimpse into the work of a Primers II shortlisted poet, as we deliberate picking the final three from a ten-strong shortlist. Our first two featured poems were ‘Copper Calf’ by Ben Bransfield and ‘Leave’ Cynthia Miller. Today, we’re exploring the work of Emma Jeremy. Emma Jeremy Emma Jeremy is 23 years old and originally from Bristol….

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Primers II Shortlist: Cynthia Miller

Leading up to the incredibly exciting announcement of this year’s 3 Primers Poets, we’re showcasing those 10 poets on the shortlist. We’ve already posted the work of the alphabetically superior Ben Bransfield, and next up for your enjoyment it’s one poem from Cynthia Miller. Judges Jacob Sam-La Rose & Jane Commane will be making their final…

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Review: ‘The Immigration Handbook’ by Caroline Smith

The Immigration Handbook collects together stories of people caught up in the unwieldy, impersonal and often seemingly illogical world of government bureaucracy. Not unlike the recently released I, Daniel Blake, such a bureaucracy is shown to brutalise those who depend on it the most. Caroline Smith is perfectly placed to write these stories, having worked…

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Primers II Shortlist: Ben Bransfield

Welcome to the first in a series of sneak peeks at this year’s Primers candidates. The shortlist has been announced and the judges, Jane Commane from Nine Arches Press and Jacob Sam-La Rose, are busily reading the full submissions to decide which three poets will receive mentoring and publication in the second Primers: Debut Poetry Shorts. We’re eager to…

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Seven Highlights from Poetry in Aldeburgh

 ‘Hinterlands’ – Blake Morrison, Anne-Marie Fyfe Blake Morrison and Anne-Marie Fyfe opened the Poetry in Aldeburgh readings, both poets recalling a spectrum of desolate coastal locations, including in and around Aldeburgh. Morrison’s ‘Ballad of Shingle Street’ was a stirring example, offering an insistent rhythm (one line simply “again again again again”) that sounded like someone…

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Florence Cox Wins Our Poetry in Aldeburgh Pronto Comp!

Florence Cox is the winner of our Aldeburgh ‘Pronto’ Competition. Congratulations! Congratulations also to three runners-up Patricia Wooldridge, Michael Hutchinson, and Roger West. We’re back from the beach, having had a brilliant time at the Poetry in Aldeburgh Festival – talking to the audience, sidling up to possible new poet-tutors, and enjoying some fantastic readings. Ben Rogers, our…

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Coming Soon…The Spring Term Programme will be announced on 18th November

While the autumnal plane tree leaves flutter down Lambeth Walk, we are adding the final dabs of colour to the spring programme, which will be ready for booking on 18th November. Crack open your notebooks and buff up your tablets, we’ll have a fantastic selection of activities for you to pick from. Cast your minds…

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Review: ‘Noir’ by Charlotte Gann

Charlotte Gann’s debut poetry collection is filled with dark and anxious poems that aren’t afraid to leave their often-worrying situations unresolved. Noir is a tightly woven collection of half-told narratives, which leave room for the reader’s imagination. The opening poem, ‘Puzzle’, reveals, manifesto-like, the intentions of the book:   If I look closely I can…

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Primers Shortlist and Longlist Announced

This July, we set up our virtual in-tray and invited submissions to the second year of our publishing and mentoring programme, Primers, in association with Nine Arches Press. Our Primers scheme will find three new poets whose work we’d like to foster, publish and promote. Thousands of poems later, Judges Jane Commane and Jacob Sam-La Rose…

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‘Still Very Green’

The women buried here are sinful. Holding hands with men they shouldn’t have, touching ladies they called their friends in ways that friends don’t touch. The sex has not gone from this garden, I think, Couples walking in, so many pairs of sinners, and So much green. Green, the colour before a bud blooms, Green,…

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‘Siberia – Irrational representation III’ by Perienne Christian and a new writing prompt from Ben Rogers

Siberia is one of the most sparsely populated places on Earth. Against a black backdrop, Perienne Christian’s etching is informed by her own family’s history, the harrowing escape of her grandparents from a hard labour camp, walking at night, hiding and surviving on tiny amounts of food. See the interview with Perienne here. At Poetry…

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Poetry in Aldeburgh: Ben Rogers interviews Perienne Christian

You have an interest in ancient walkways. Can you tell us why you are generally interested in this, do you walk them, and is there one in particular that you have recently been drawn to? Perienne: I am interested in the history of human presence and movement across landscape. The old walkways, changed and shaped…

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Poetry in Aldeburgh: Ben Rogers interviews Emily Berry

Unnerving and commanding figures of authority recur in your poetry, including the Doctor in ‘The Incredible History of Patient M.’, the biographer in ‘Our Love Could Spoil Dinner’, and Arlene in the Arlene poems.  What do you think draws you to write about these figures, and do you see the writing about them to be…

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‘My Perpendicular Daughter’ by Emily Berry and a new writing prompt from Ben Rogers

Confusion and resentment begin today’s poem by Emily Berry, where a new mother complains that her daughter has not fulfilled expectations: “I wish they hadn’t lied/ like that”.  Spare language and few tangible details add to the clinical and disturbing atmosphere, in which a woman is left exposed to dispassionate and questionable responses from unseen…

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‘RILT’ by Geraldine Clarkson and a new writing prompt from Ben Rogers

Beginning with a word that can mean ‘disturbed’ or ‘off balance’, today’s poem, which won the 2014 Ware Sonnet Prize, sees one of a group of “crooked-leg” girls take decisive action and assert her “right” to go where she wishes, over the hill and down to the sea. At Poetry in Aldeburgh: Geraldine Clarkson will…

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Poetry in Aldeburgh: Ben Rogers interviews… Geraldine Clarkson

An Interview with Geraldine Clarkson

“The boundaries can be a little porous, and spoonfuls of poetry can be stirred into daily life…”

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