Blog

We’re Hiring! – Programmes and Website Administrator

We are currently looking for a Programmes and Website Administrator to join our friendly team at the Poetry School. 12-month fixed-term, full-time post providing administrative support to the Poetry School in its various activities. £23,000 p.a. This is a full time post providing administration, programming and website support for The Poetry School – the UK’s…

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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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Stanzas for Ukraine – 6

The Kalyna[1] Poetry Flute (Especially for Kalyna Language Press Limited[2]) by Myroslav Herasymovych, translated from the Ukrainian by Stephen Komarnyckyj I looked at the news and thought. What did I think? – It’s unknown. Ah! I’ve remembered. – What? – What I thought about. – What did you think about? Without answering I turned my…

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Review – The Kids by Hannah Lowe

One of the hardest things for boys to learn is that a teacher is human. One of the hardest things for a teacher to learn is not to try and tell them.                                              …

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Stanzas for Ukraine – 5

On The Impossibility of Not Writing by Vitalij Kvitka, translated from the Ukrainian by Stephen Komarnyckyj Poetry is an infinity. War tries to deny this infinity. There are, in this sense, no greater enemies than poetry and war. The poet, after all, is trying to embody the idea of human eternity, as if the infinity…

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Stanzas for Ukraine – 4

Stanzas for Ukraine – The Invasion of the Ukrainian Language [ Author: Lyuba Yakimchuk, translated from the Ukrainian by Stephen Komarnyckyj] The war calls into question everything on which our survival depends and provokes a crisis in our vision of humanity. During Russia’s large scale war against Ukraine only the apathetic wouldn’t quote Theodor AThe…

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Stanzas for Ukraine – 3

Our third blog in the Stanzas for Ukraine project is by the Ukrainian writer Oleh Shynkarenko, who is known for his experimental fiction. However, Russia’s invasion of his homeland spurred him to write poetry. His blog talks of the threat to individual identity under occupation and these previously unpublished poems deal with the war in…

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Stanzas for Ukraine – 2

Our second blog in the Stanzas for Ukraine project is written by the Crimean-Ukrainian poet Vyacheslav Huk, who now lives in Kyiv. He spent most of his childhood hidden from the Soviet authorities on his grandmother’s farm after reading a protest poem in class. In this week’s piece, he explains why this makes Putin’s attempt…

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Stanzas for Ukraine (First Post)

Poetry School is proud to have partnered with tutors Steve Komarnyckyj and Elżbieta Wójcik-Leese, and PEN International’s Judyth Hill to publish Stanzas for Ukraine. Every fortnight we will publish a blog written by some of the most significant contemporary Ukrainian poets, who will reflect upon the more than 300 years of historical conflict their country has…

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Review – Corrigenda for Costafine Town by Jake Morris-Campbell and Working Out by David Hughes

Writing in the Preface to Lyrical Ballads in 1800, Wordsworth famously advocated poetry written in ‘the real language of men’. A couple of centuries and more on, with all of our debates about the relationship between page and stage, all of our continued discussions about poetic register, all of the critical sniffiness there can sometimes…

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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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Glyn Maxwell in Conversation with Linda Gregerson

Glyn Maxwell & Linda Gregerson in conversation – Expect musings on theatre and poetry, new readings, laughter, anecdotes, & insight. Wednesday 13 April at 7 pm BST. Sign up here. This is the second of our ‘In Conversation’ series with Glyn Maxwell which launched with UK Poet Laureate Simon Armitage on 8 February. Glyn continues…

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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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Review – Of Sea by Elizabeth-Jane Burnett, and Thinking With Trees by Jason Allen-Paisant 

What is the language of the invertebrate? What form might the invertebrate provide the poet? Elizabeth-Jane Burnett’s Of Sea traces the light shed by bodies alternatively-structured: A ‘Prickly Cockle’ ‘start[s] light’, the coat of an aphid ‘dusts light’ in ‘Lupin Aphid’, a ‘Murky-legged Legionnaire Fly’ provides a ‘blurt of sun’. A note at the start…

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Announcing the Poetry School MA in Writing Poetry Scholarship 2022

We’re delighted to announce the Poetry School MA in Writing Poetry Scholarship 2022 for an underrepresented poet. For a second year, Poetry School is offering a full fees scholarship award (£10,000) 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…

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Sources of Poetic Language

Imagination, Wonder, and the Everyday The mourning doves are beginning to coo again and yesterday I saw the families of cardinals in the yew, all busy setting up. The past few days were very windy, and we found a fallen nest, the size of a basketball, along the street. It feels as if I am…

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A Slice of Butterworth-Toast: Writing Poems for Children

I think I could spot a Charles Causley children’s poem a mile away, in the dark. All of them bear a unique fingerprint of magic, music, and respect for the reader’s wish to be entertained – but it’s also true that no two Causley poems are alike. Flip through his Collected Poems for Children and…

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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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Review – Like a Tree, Walking by Vahni Capildeo

Vahni Capildeo is an astonishingly prolific and inventive poet, and Like a Tree, Walking, showcases the full range of their imagination. The collection begins with a poem ‘In Praise of Birds’, which captures the spirit of the work as a whole: In praise of high-contrast birds, purple bougainvillea thicketing the golden oriole. In praise of…

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Review – The Voice of Sheila Chandra by Kazim Ali

Kazim Ali’s body of work revitalises how we, as readers, perceive history, narrative, and the lyric. His innovations are captivating, encompassing multiple genres, and swiftly entwining poetry and prose, dramatisation and autobiography. I was especially struck by this a few years ago, when first reading Bright Felon: Autobiography and Cities (2012), an earlier collection that challenges any particular notion or expectation of genre; a collection…

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We’re Moving to Somerset House Exchange!

We are thrilled to be able to announce that we are moving London-based Poetry School activities from 1 February to our new home in the Somerset House Exchange. We will shortly be sending out detailed directions and course instructions to all enrolled students; we can’t wait to welcome you to this community of arts practitioners in…

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Review – Brilliant Corners by Nuzhat Bukhari, A Blood Condition by Kayo Chingonyi

How do we reconcile conflicting inheritances? Many poets of colour find themselves caught between two roads: the English lyric, whose focus on internal feeling can imply a disavowal of history, and the real histories from which today’s poets arise; histories bent by the home of the English lyric. The lyric and its most apparently ahistorical…

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