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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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Lo and Behold – the latest

At the beginning of the year, we put out a call to poets and artists to surprise us with innovative poetry promoting ideas. Five of them did … and we were able to fund each of them with £750 to get their projects off the ground. Here’s how they’re getting on so far …  …

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What’s a digital residency? Why’s a digital residency?

The photograph above was taken at approximately 4pm on 4 March 2015, in the Waterloo branch of Foyles. The display stand – a promotion for Penguin’s new read-in-one-sitting Little Black Classics range, and but two days old – has been all but stripped bare. From a backlist containing Whitman, Keats, Gerald Manley Hopkins, Sappho, Coleridge,…

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Mixed Borders: first shoots

The project progress / plant growing analogies are proving impossible to resist when titling these reports from our Mixed Borders project. There will only be more terrible gardening double talk to come, I do apologise in advance … Since we were all matched with our gardens, the members of Mixed Borders have been paying their…

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Mixed Borders: planting the seeds

The Poetry School and the London Parks and Gardens Trust have hybridised! Between now and London Open Gardens Weekend (13-14 June 2015), seventeen poets (including two members of the Poetry School staff) will be running mini-residencies in some of the London gardens that take part in the annual LPGT scheme. There are city gardens and graveyards,…

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In Praise of Pop

From Tuesday 12 May, Kathryn Gray will be running the Summer Course ‘Alien Vs Predator?’ Poetry and Pop Culture, exploring what happens when the two apparently hostile worlds of poetry and pop culture meet … Could you write a great poem about Don Draper? Kathryn writes a few words in praise of pop:   ‘In…

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The Tao of Poetry

Starting on Monday, 4 May, Liane Strauss will be running ‘The Tao of Poetry: An Introduction to the Great Poets of the T’ang and Sung Dynasties’, providing an in-depth study of the great flowering of Classical Chinese poetry and all that contributes to making it feel so contemporary.  Here, Liane put together a few words…

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Pound uses other people

People are much more familiar with the idea of found poetry now than in any of the centuries before Pound. The idea, though, that poetry is not made up of one’s own expression but of incorporating the writings of others is an old one. In previous centuries, it was common for published writers to expect…

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Serif-ically Visual

To follow on from my last post and anticipate my next, I’m going to say more about how visually Pound writes/types for the page, and do so using the first example so far in my discussions of Pound using found text (more of which soon). But I’m also not going to move too far away…

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Re: Drafts – ‘Lessons from Press Gang and other submissions’

Rishi Dastidar and I are working closely with The Rialto editor Michael Mackmin on a programme designed to teach us about the process and philosophy of poetry editing. Following the publication of The Rialto’s 81st issue, I met up online with Rishi to discuss how receiving poetry submissions has changed our perspective on the best…

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Notes on Modernists II

It’s obvious that analysis of other artists walks hand in hand with being an artist oneself. When you have a go at a form, then it becomes much easier to read a master’s work in that form. In an analogous way, the therapist Carl Rogers said that whenever he had an epiphany (of compassion) for…

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21st Century Canto: Pound, Resounding

So, we have looked at the timbre of words. Sometimes one also explores a different metre (one based on length of syllable rather than stress, for example) in order to get at a good line in a good timbre. This is what we tend to do when we remember poets’ work: we remember a line….

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Notes on Modernists

My initial pitch for this residency, and one that I’ve fancied for a while, is to set a number of exercises based on Modernist poets. These are some suggestions in brief.   BASIL BUNTING Avoid synonyms. Try to use the plain word. If the same object appears several times in your poem, call it the…

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21st Century Canto: Sounding Out Pound

I began my first week by discussing Ezra Pound and translation. I very much hope that this will lead some new readers to have a go at translating, to get past worrying whether or not they can hold a long conversation in another language before at least trying to get something from a poem in…

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21st Century Canto: Infestation-Translation

What Pound did for me is infest my poetry world. All across it, in small pockets. One reason that Pound is hard to emulate is that he has re-thought a lot of different things, and he brings all these to bear simultaneously: like all Shaun the Sheep’s friends piling into one human overcoat and walking…

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21st Century Canto: Translation, Pound-style

A very good place to start with Ezra Pound is the Selected Poems and Translations edited by Richard Sieburth, originally published by New Directions, the New York publishing house founded by James Laughlin when Ezra told him “You’re never going to be any good as a poet. Why don’t you take up something useful?”. The volume is…

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