Blog

The Air in a Room is Cut & Looped

Working with sound has freed up creative possibilities for my writing and made for joyful collaborations that push me to experiment with how I curate and present material. The soundtext ‘Eating Trends’ embedded here is a manipulation of my own raw personal data. ‘Eating Trends’ by Antosh Wojcik The piece begins with my washing machine…

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Where Words Meet Music

Put a spring in your step with our latest Easter Extra programme: Where Words Meet Music – a brand new 6-week course where you will think about what poems and songs can learn from each other and get creative to inspire new ways of approaching your writing. The course will be steered by singer and…

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The Poem That Travelled the World

Sometimes a poem has the freedom to travel from mouth to mouth, page to page, screen to screen, and arrive at places the poet has neither been to or even imagined. This is the case with Warsan Shire’s poem ‘Home’, one of the poems we will explore in the upcoming course ‘The bravest people on…

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Poetry & Advertising Studio

Even if it seems an improbable one, the association between poetry and advertising is not a new one. As it often happens when you have a new idea, someone else has had it before. In my case, it’s S. I. Hayakawa, who published an article titled “Poetry and Advertising” as early as January 1946. So, 74…

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Writing the Self: Performance & Sacrifice with Nisha Ramayya

In Indo-European Poetry and Myth, philologist M. L. West traces links between poets and priests in the Indo-European language family, from Old Irish, Welsh, and German, to Greek, Avestan, and Sanskrit. He begins with a simple thesis statement: ‘all peoples at all times have had poetry and song.’ Understanding poetry and poetic language as language…

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Poetry Books of the Year 2019

Well, it’s been a remarkable year for poetry and the Poetry School. So remarkable, in fact, that we haven’t had time to do full justice to our annual best-of-the-year list. Worry not: we’ve managed to scrabble together enough time not spent in poetic reverie or arguing over kerning to recommend fifty-two of the year’s finest…

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‘Go to the Zoo’: on Writing About Animals

A couple of weeks ago, I came across this recording of Greta Stoddart reading her poem ‘Errand’. I love the poem, and I love her introduction to it. Describing a time when Rilke was suffering from a sort of writer’s block, she talks about Rodin’s advice to him: ‘Go to the zoo. And stand in…

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Poet Laureate, Simon Armitage, and The Poetry School launch The Laurel Prize

We are delighted to be able to announce the launch of The Laurel Prize and honoured to be collaborating with Poet Laureate, Simon Armitage on one of his headline projects. The Laurel Prize will be an award for the best collection of environmental, ecopoetry, or nature poetry. The Prize will further the discourse around climate…

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Spring 2020 Term Courses Are Now LIVE

We are delighted to announce that our Spring 2020 courses are now UP and BOOKABLE! Below is a quick guide of all of the courses that have opened for booking today. Note: We expect many of our courses to sell out very fast, so make sure to secure your place on your favourite course or courses today!…

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Xriss Xross: A Report

Poetry can spring up in the most unlikely places – even Zone 3. For Xriss Xross, a free one-day writing festival, the Poetry School took over RAW Labs, an airy studio space at a fringe of the DLR that many Londoners (this one included) will never have visited before. It was the perfect setting for…

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Applications open for paid internship at the Poetry School

About the role At the Poetry School, we believe that a career in the literary world should be an option for anyone, regardless of background, and not just the privileged few. What is more, we believe in true diversity of voices and that this can only be achieved by an industry whose workforce more accurately…

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Memory, History, Loss, & Gains

If, like me, you believe that uncovering untold histories – whether personal, familial, or national – is important, and a vital part of the poet’s work, then join me for a day of reading and discussing poets who do just that. A few months ago, I was in a workshop with Bernardine Evaristo and the…

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The Big Issues

I began thinking about writing this blog on the day of the mass murder of Muslims in New Zealand. Just how do you begin to respond as a poet to something like this? And in the UK, and around the world, there have been similar atrocities. We’re in this mess of seemingly endless Brexit, with…

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Poetry of Parenting Playlist: Thirteen For Now

Fiona Benson, author of the brilliant Vertigo & Ghost, and tutor of the Poetry School course Writing Childhood, Writing Parenthood, presents an unmissable Poetry of Parenting Playlist. (1) Kathleen Jamie, ‘Ultrasound’ This gorgeous, unsurpassable sequence in Jizzen (Picador, London: 1999) travels from ultrasound (‘Second sight / a seer’s mothy flicker, an inner sprite’) through the ‘difficult giving’ to ‘the first…

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Review: ‘Shadow Dogs’ by Natalie Whittaker

Natalie Whittaker’s Shadow Dogs (ignition press) introduces a powerful, controlled new voice. The twenty-one poems collected here are often short and restrained but, to steal from the pamphlet’s title, the elegant sentences and striking images cast enormous shadows, conjuring something much bigger than themselves. Because of the care with language and the sense of a lived…

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Pub Chats: Bad Betty Press

Welcome to Pub Chats, our series of interviews about the nuts and bolts of publishing with some of the country’s most innovative indie presses. Joining us for a chat and a drink today is Amy Acre of Bad Betty Press. Hello there! What are you drinking?  I like a bit of everything, but it’s 4pm…

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Pub Chats: Platypus Press

Welcome to Pub Chats, our series of interviews about the nuts and bolts of publishing with some of the country’s most innovative indie presses. Joining us today in our mystery spit-and-sawdust somewhere in Canary Wharf is Michelle Tudor of Platypus Press, an indie publisher of poetry, fiction & non-fiction based in England. Hello there! What…

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Poetry School Books of the Year 2018

It’s been a superb year for ‘little shapelets’ and their ‘sprinkling of white space’. Funny, painful, complex, adventurous, elegiac, innovative, insightful and enduring, the books we have chosen to celebrate here represent just a small selection of the marvellous work we have read and loved over the past twelve months. Below, in alphabetical order, you…

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The Poet’s Bookshelf

What book can no poet do without? That’s the question we ask every poet who teaches or writes for us. The Poet’s Bookshelf is a fantasy library containing one title – poetry or prose – recommended by each and every poet who comes through our doors. If you’re stuck for inspiration, why not have a…

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Pub Chats: Verve Poetry Press

In the latest interview in our Pub Chats series, we sat down for an imaginary 8am pint with Stuart Bartholomew of Birmingham’s Verve Poetry Press, sister press of the successful Verve Poetry Festival.  Hello there! What are you drinking? I am scarily varied on drinks (a bit like I am with poetry). White Wine, Guinness,…

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Poetry in Aldeburgh Round-Up

 Friday Aldeburgh is a lovely seaside town lined with little shops, bakeries and cafés. As one of the poets, I was lucky enough to stay at Elizabeth Court, the artists’ accommodation, which was entirely booked for the festival. How often do you run into poets in the corridor or meet them while making breakfast in…

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Pub Chats: Seren

Pub Chats is back! After an extended hiatus, the Poetry School’s long-running series of interviews with indie publishers returns with a fresh round of innovative small presses. First to join us in our imaginary theatre pub somewhere in London’s docklands is  Rosie Johns, Marketing and Communication Officer at  Seren.    Hello there! What are you drinking? Rosie: You…

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Pub Chats: Holland Park Press

Pub Chats is back! After an extended hiatus, the Poetry School’s long-running series of interviews with indie publishers returns with a fresh round of innovative small presses. Joining us today in our imaginary theatre pub somewhere in London’s docklands is  Bernadette Jansen op de Haar of  Holland Park Press.    Hello there! What are you drinking? Bernadette: A…

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Summer School 2018

Get your towels ready, it’s about to go down! Our Summer School is back, and this year is better than ever. So dust off that bathing suit and dive into a week of half-day workshops running 23 – 27 July. This time around we’ve collaborated with Rachel Long, poet and founder of Octavia – Poetry…

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Tutor Academy – April 2018

Looking to shake off this Siberian weather? In need of some springtime inspiration? Then check out our upcoming Tutor Academy! For this project we have collaborated with  Nathalie Teitler, director of The Complete Works, and co-curated a panel of up-and-coming poets who have never taught for the Poetry School before. We are very happy to be welcoming these 8 poets into…

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