Blog

Sounds and Sweet Airs

Be not afeard, the isle is full of noises… I’m writing this in the back room of our house, overlooking a meeting of gardens. We’re underneath a flight path, and this morning the planes are roaring in, low, carrying the summer visitors and returners to London. In between, a robin’s ticking of alarm reaches me,…

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A line about orange: thoughts on poets and painters

I have always been interested in the relationship between art and poetry. For many years now, I have been using art as a way of stimulating my poetic practice, sometimes by channeling the dead – such as Jackson Pollock and Cy Twombly – but also by collaborating with living artists – such as Linda Karshan,…

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Writers Who Love Writers

A friend of mine once pointed out that as poets we are indefinitely not like everyone else. Perhaps others don’t stick their heads into things as we do, they don’t get caught up in their emotions – and suddenly in the middle of a busy bar feeling something close to what Stendhal felt in Florence…

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Mondo: The Global Avant Garde

I’ve run three courses for the Poetry School so far, all of which have been about avant-garde poetry. Covering specific movements in European, British and World avant-garde writing, I’ve been able to communicate things I’m passionate about to successively erudite and enthusiastic course participants. Here’s what’s coming up for the Autumn Term… Mondo: The Global…

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Poetry and Comics

Poetry and Comics don’t need each other to communicate, and yet Poetry Comics have been around for a while. The New York School Poets, Joe Brainard in particular, created comics which used poetic text, and the idea seems to have grown from there. In the eighties an American writer and educator called Dave Morice published…

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Devouring and Creation: the Poetry of Food and that which Feeds our Poetry

In both his letters and his poetry, John Keats implored artists to “live unpoetically” by focusing on an “acuteness of vision”. This means listening, watching, touching and tasting what is going on around us every day. We do not isolate special occasions in order to squeeze out a poem, we are moved by something that…

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Re: Drafts – ’10 Amazing Things You Will Learn Editing The Rialto!!!’

Last month saw issue 83 of The Rialto sail into the world, and with it we came to the end of our period as assistant editors. Hopefully we’ve learnt a few bits and pieces about what happens behind the scenes of a poetry magazine. Plus we have been initiated into the mystery of what other…

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How I Did It: ‘protest of the physical’

The long poem which makes up the centre of physical took about two years to write and then another three to sculpt into the version that exists in this collection. Around 2010 three things happened; I graduated from undergraduate study, I found out I’d got a grant to go on a free Arvon course and,…

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Primers: an Interview with Jane Commane of Nine Arches Press

An Interview with Jane Commane

The Poetry School and Nine Arches Press joined forces recently to launch Primers, a new joint mentoring and publication scheme for emerging poets. Submissions have been whizzing through the systems these last few weeks and making us very excited, so we went to have a chat with Nine Arches’ Editor Jane Commane about what she’s…

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How I Did It: ‘Crocodile’

As a child I loved the London Natural History Museum. One free afternoon in the summer of 2010, I went back nostalgically with my husband only to regret the heat and school holiday hordes. I found myself lingering in front of a case that contained rounded stones in a range of sizes, quills lacking feathers,…

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How I Did It: ‘The Ballad of the Small-Boned Daughter’

Shafilea Ahmed died in September 2003 aged 17. She was a British Pakistani girl from Warrington, Cheshire. She was a beautiful and spirited girl who was murdered in a so called ‘honour killing’ by her parents. Like so many others I watched the long gruesome trial in 2012 when her parents were finally convicted of…

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Autumn 2015: New Courses and Workshops

Here’s a quick look at what’s on offer for our Autumn Term (beginning 14 September 2015). To find out about a particular course or tutor, follow the title links or call us to enquire on 0207 582 1679. If you’d like to print out a copy of our brochure to look through at home, you can…

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MA in Writing Poetry – now open for applications

We are delighted to announce that our MA in Writing Poetry in collaboration with Newcastle University is now open for applications. The two year course starts in September 2015, and you can study in one of two centres: the Poetry School’s Lambeth Walk classrooms in London, or at Newcastle University itself. Both groups of students…

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An announcement from our Director

After six years as Director of the Poetry School, I will be stepping down from the role this summer. The Poetry School’s Board of Trustees will lead the search for a new Director with details of the recruitment process to be announced shortly. Although my time as Director will officially end in mid-August I will…

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CAMPUS Debate: Poetry and Music in Performance

Poetry and music: a natural pairing? On instinct, yes! of course! why who hasn’t extolled a thumping good poem for its ‘musicality’, or raved about the ‘pure poetry’ of a great song? If you go back far enough to when nearly all verse was accompanied by flute and lyre, it’s hard to say whether poetry…

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Celebrate Your History: an Interview with Nick Field

An Interview with Nick Field

How can poetry express the joys, sensations and narratives of shared celebrations? In his new Summer School workshop ‘Celebrate Your History’, artist and writer Nick Field will be working with students to use autobiography to create powerful, joyful poems. We caught up with Nick to find out more… Hi Nick! Tell us a bit about…

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Mixed Borders: Who’s Where

Open Gardens Squares Weekend is just around the corner! On Saturday 13 and Sunday 14 June, you can explore over 200 private, secret and tucked away gardens across London. Our Mixed Borders Poets have taken up residence in 16 of the Open Gardens dotted across London. They’ve been visiting their gardens for the last month…

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A run from the Pound

I’ve come to the end of my residency, which ran in tandem with my commission to write and present a documentary about Ezra Pound and economics (due out on Radio 4 this summer). It has been fantastically helpful for me, not least because I sometimes find it hard to see the wood for the trees,…

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Festival Season: A Glimpse at our Summer School

Our Summer School is designed so that students can fit in one last blast of poetry writing before the holidays: for a whole week in July, we’ll be running a series of workshops, some for a full day, some for the morning or the afternoon, so that you can fit them in around your packing…

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Epiphanies and Other Movable Feasts: an Interview with Nichola Deane

An Interview with Nichola Deane

Part of our festival themed Summer School this July, Nichola Deane’s workshop Epiphanies and Other Movable Feasts will look at the ‘architecture of moments’ that make up our lives. We caught up with Nichola to find out more about what she has planned… Hi Nichola, tell us more about your workshop…what’s it all about? ND:…

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Notes on Modernists III

DONALD DAVIE I first started reading Donald Davie, one of my own heroes, because of his odd critical book/assemblage of reviews Under Briggflatts. He did not inspire me to read Pound, not consciously, so much as to ask more questions of mainstream British poetry. I came to Pound later, and then dived into Davie on…

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Appy Economics

That was is a pound that i was at your house in 1 of the most famous cancer certainly the one most houston straight up in the problems the multinational global village of international capital were here to stay and everybody’s studies economics to understand economics is hard to visual i cannot allusion discount to…

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Pound Won’t Change You

Do people read the Cantos and change their politics or their approach to economics? No, I don’t think so. Does the poetry bring that subject alive, if you are a poetry fan? Does it preach a message only poets can hear? No, I think, not really. But there are things in there. There are questions…

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Pound and found

It’s interesting how often critics and lay people describe the Cantos as a mix of poetry and prose. Ezra Pound himself said “The problem was to get a form—something elastic enough to take the necessary material. It had to be a form that wouldn’t exclude something merely because it didn’t fit.” http://www.theparisreview.org/interviews/4598/the-art-of-poetry-no-5-ezra-pound But, let’s note,…

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All the films from Ross Sutherland’s 30 Poems / 30 Videos residency

Ladies and gentleman he did it! Earlier this year we challenged Ross Sutherland, our 7th Digital Poet in Residence, to create 30 original poetry films in less than two months, and we’re now delighted to collect together the results of this epic, prolific enterprise. It’s been a fantastic project and wonderful working with Ross, who…

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