New Homers – a Reading & Writing Course

I’ve had a vivid and unscholarly interest in the Homeric stories since I was a boy. In those days both the battles of the Iliad and Odysseus’s wanderings among monsters and goddesses filled me with a simple, childish sense of wonder. In my early twenties I discovered Patrocleia, the first section of Christopher Logue’s Homer…

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The Plot Inside The Poem

The playwright David Mamet famously said that what we want to know more than anything else is ‘what happens next’.  My own obsession with narrative goes back to my writerly roots in theatre and later in film; I’m always looking for the story, even when it isn’t obvious. I’ve been making a study of the…

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Write more poems this Summer at the Poetry School

It’s just over a week to go before our Summer Term starts. We’ve dozens of new courses and workshops – both face to face and online – to help you wrangle your poems into shape. You can download the whole programme here – or browse the highlights below. Not taken one of our classes before?…

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Summer courses on CAMPUS

Dear CAMPUS poets – our swimming shorts are on and our 12 tog duvets have been stuffed back in the attic. Summer is arriving. The Poetry School’s summer term starts 5 May 2014 and we’ve got lots of new, excellent online courses packed full of powerful poetry prompts and fool-proof exercises to get you all…

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Reading Dylan Thomas

The first time was a reading Fern Hill aloud, pacing the room the while, hoping (though not meaning to) that some of the pastoral Dylan stardust of having been so ‘honoured among wagons’ that he was ‘prince of the apple towns’ might rub off on a Londoner. The second time was a glimpse, from the…

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Reading the South Americans

My father, early on, lit the touch-paper of South America for me by trying to make short work of my disappointment that Colonel P H Fawcett, who wrote Exploration Fawcett and then disappeared in the Mato Grosso in 1925 while looking for El Dorado, was not a direct relation. I even ended up glad he…

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The Sound of the City

An Interview with John McCollough

Seasoned city-stroller, John McCullough, returns to the Poetry School with his new course, The Sound of the City, a cross-town train ride through the exciting sounds, juxtapositions and energy of modern urban life. With their dense, swarming zones of activity, cities have long provided powerful sources of poetic inspiration, giving form and impetus to many…

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Killer Serials: Sequences, Groups and Multi-part Poems

An Interview with Simon Barraclough

A man of many projects, Simon Barraclough is well placed to guide our students towards successful sequences in his new spring term course, Killer Serials: Sequences, Groups and Multi-part Poems. All three of his collections hinge on the strength of their sequences; my personal favourite is the series of heart poems in Neptune Blue (Salt,…

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Maintenant! An interview with S J Fowler

An Interview with S J Fowler

Has any other poet thrown himself into curating and collaboratively creating contemporary poetry with the same enthusiasm as S J Fowler? Publishing five collections in three years is an achievement in itself, but there’s also something admirable about the way he draws other artists and poets into his creative orbit, whether that be by collaborating…

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Poems on the Hebrew Bible

An Interview with

Eve Grubin’s new one-day workshop – Poems on the Hebrew Bible – draws attention to one of the most influential books of all time, by way of Milton, Keats, Robert Frost, Sharon Olds, and countless other poets it has inspired. With the use of translations, Eve will be peering under the mantle of this classic holy…

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Tidemarks and Tidelines

Fawzia Kane’s new course Tidemarks and Timelines – a poetic investigation into shifting riverbanks, waxing coastlines and the tidal time-marks of history – starts this January at the Poetry School. Fawzia’s Dark Sparks course from last year was enchanting – students wrote by lamplight, kept haiku diaries, watched the sun set over Tower Bridge, visited…

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