Courses

Stanzas for Ukraine – 7

The Poet’s Nose by Serhii Rybnytskyi, translated from the Ukrainian by Stephen Komarnyckyj With what part of the body can I reflect on matters as a poet? My nose, which for me it is practically an ‘Achilles Heel’. Any blow can knock me down, the slightest cold or drop in blood pressure clogs my nostrils….

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Poet as Archaeologist Studio Blog

This autumn, I’m thinking about what poets can learn from archaeologists and their discoveries. Poet as Archaeologist Studio will be a chance to generate new work, read and discuss poems and get feedback on your drafts. It will also be an opportunity to consider how a different discipline might inform our writing. I spent my…

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Autumn 2022 – Quick Course Guide

Our Autumn Term is now live and we’ve got a whole host of brilliant tutors and courses lined up, so be sure to book promptly to avoid disappointment. Below is our handy Quick Guide, where you’ll find everything you’ll need to know about our upcoming courses. Online INTERACTIVE COURSES:Our classic ten-week online courses with Live…

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We have partnered with Griots Well, offering eight of their runners up free spaces on our Autumn Term.

Griot’s Well is a one year poetry development programme for Black and ethnically diverse poets over the age of 25. We’re excited to announce a new collaborative partnership with the brilliant Griots Well. We are offering their eight runners a free course as part of our upcoming Autumn term. The eight selected poets are part…

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Snapshot on: Becky Varley-Winter’s Live Wires: Starting to Write

Our Beginner’s course ‘Live Wires: Starting to Write’ with Becky Varley-Winter recently completed another term and Becky has put together a zine to showcase the students’ best work, which you can see extracts of below. The next iteration of this course will take place in our Summer 2022 Term (running 12 May – 14 July)….

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Taking the Piss Flower: on the pitfalls of writing poems inspired by art, and bringing something new to the party

Ekphrasis is one of those poemy words poets assume everyone knows, like villanelle, and pantoum; but my Mac doesn’t recognise it, flags it up, and takes me to Wiki – ‘an ekphrastic poem is a poem inspired or stimulated by a work of art’. I remember feeling so happy when I first discovered the word,…

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The Zen of Ecopoetics: the contribution of Zen to modernist American poetry

In Breathing: Chaos and Poetry, the Italian philosopher Franco Berardi suggests that poetry is the excess of semiotic exchange that goes beyond the limits of language and, by extension, transcends the limits of reality as we know it. In this sense, poetry offers us a way of rethinking our relationship with non-human beings and environments,…

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Transreading Ethiopia with Chris Beckett

Selam hullu…..Hello everyone! I’ve already blogged about my boyhood in Addis Ababa as an intro for my autumn 2021 course on Childhood: A Source of Praise. So I don’t want to repeat too much of what I said then, but it feels like I’m travelling the same path again! It’s a really great feeling, because…

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Summer 2022 – Quick Course Guide

Our Summer Term is now live and we’ve got a whole host of brilliant tutors and courses lined up, so be sure to book promptly to avoid disappointment. Below is our handy Quick Guide, where you’ll find everything you’ll need to know about our upcoming courses. Online INTERACTIVE COURSES:Our classic ten-week online courses with Live…

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Spring 2022 – Quick Course Guide

Our Spring Term is now live and we’ve got a whole host of brilliant tutors and courses lined up, so be sure to book promptly to avoid disappointment. Below is our handy Quick Guide, where you’ll find everything you’ll need to know about our upcoming courses. Online INTERACTIVE COURSES:Our classic ten-week online courses with Live…

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‘Tension, Tenderness and Truth: Reading Elaine Feinstein

We asked our tutor Adam Feinstein some questions about his course ‘Tension, Tenderness & Truth: Reading Elaine Feinstein’. This course will be a series of lessons exploring the work of renowned poet Elaine Feinstein. Adam is a poet, critic, and Elaine’s son – who better to illuminate her work? What could a student take away from this…

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At Home in Hauntology

– Here in the garden, I notice change flickering and looping in the invisible lapse of time between my footsteps, bird feet, the silent beats of butterfly wings and the movements of flora. In my passing, I de-head the odd flower, I note a small bud in apprehension and the imminent rain. Mid summer vacillating between now and the ‘not yet.’ I hear the garden in its tumescent silence and sound. Time feels ‘out of joint’ here, as Derrida…

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What we talk about when we talk about class / class is a slippery thing

Often, the problem of class is a hob ring, you won’t dare to put your hand on it. But it’s there all the same, in the food that we eat, in the air that we breathe, or just around the street corner where we live. Whenever I find myself trapped in a conversation so fraught…

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Childhood: A Source of Praise

I want to take you, very briefly, on a journey I made back in May 2007, to Addis Ababa where I had not been since I was a boy, some 40 years before. I had a photo of my friend Abebe in my pocket, standing with his family in our garden. My first stop was…

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Autumn 2021 – Quick Course Guide

Our Autumn Term is now live and we’ve got a whole host of brilliant tutors and courses lined up, so be sure to book promptly to avoid disappointment. Below is our handy Quick Guide, where you’ll find everything you’ll need to know about our upcoming courses. Face-to-Face 3-TERM COURSESOur flagship weekly workshop groups where you’ll…

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Announcing the Poetry School MA in Writing Poetry Scholarship

We’re delighted to announce the Poetry School MA in Writing Poetry Scholarship for an underrepresented poet. Poetry School is offering a full fees scholarship award (£8,100) to the Poetry School / Newcastle University MA in Writing Poetry for an outstanding applicant who is currently underrepresented in the poetry world. By underrepresented poets, we mean talented creatives who face…

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The Fish in the Percolator – on Twin Peaks and Poetry

Twin Peaks may not have introduced me to the concept of mystery, but it did reinforce in me the value of mystery without easy resolution, and the power of the imagination. I’ve been thinking about how that echoes through poetry, and what we can learn from it.  I watched Twin Peaks unfold for the first…

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Summer School 2021

We are delighted to welcome you to our 2021 Summer School! This programme of half-day workshops has been curated in collaboration with the exhibition A Fine Day for Seeing at Southwark Park Galleries. This show takes its title from the New York School poet Frank O’Hara, who bridged the literary and artistic worlds in the…

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Looking at Lichens

Crusty, bearded, lobed – lichens thrive amongst us on pavements, graves and trees and are easily overlooked. Peer closely, run your fingers over a frilled edge or delicate antler – each lichen vibrantly itself in a human-centred world.  Kathleen Jamie has talked of serious noticing – the idea of attention as a form of resistance….

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Ars Poetica: Cold Showers & Restless Sheets

Poetry is replete with pithy, aphoristic metaphors about what poems do. William Carlos Williams claimed a poem is ‘a machine made of words’, which Don Paterson modulated into ‘[a] poem is a little machine for remembering itself’ by way of Michael Donaghy’s poem ‘Machines’. I’ve long been interested in the desire to reduce poetry to…

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Soundscapes

In the beginning, poems were songs. Sonnets were little songs. A villanelle was a dance. Does the meaning of poetry still depend, not just on the sense of words, but on their sounds? In his essay The Music of Poetry (1942), T. S. Eliot writes: We can be deeply stirred by hearing the recitation of…

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Lyric Poetry & Poetic Lyrics

To Dig What We All Say I have a small, gold book which I bought on eBay a few years ago. It’s called Richard Goldstein’s The Poetry of Rock and it was published in 1969. It declares itself to be ‘the most comprehensive collection of great Rock lyrics ever assembled.’ A review on the inside…

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Poetry that Travels

One of my favorite things to remember are trains. Somewhere in India, top bunk, spying on my fellow passengers from above: the Chaiwala with his tiers of silver tea pots, an Assamese gamer who’d gotten on three days before me, an older couple tucking their shoes between their suitcases. Like a quick inhale, I feel…

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Caledonia Dreamin’: Exploring Scotland’s Poetry

On the cut-glass if of the day,this chancer then, already in deep,headfirst among the holly leaves – Fiona Wilson, from “A Magpie, by chance” in A Clearance (2015) The feathered creatures have a talismanic presence across the work of the contemporary Scottish poet Fiona Wilson. Birds are marvels in themselves in her poetry but there…

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Poetry and Syntax: An Emergency Toothpick in an Imaginary Landscape

There is the anecdote of the painter Edgar Degas, observing to Mallarmé that, ‘yours is a hellish craft. I can’t manage to say what I want, and yet I’m full of ideas.’ To which Mallarmé allegedly, allegedly, replied, ‘My dear Degas, one does not make poetry with ideas, but with words.’ Poems are not ideas….

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