Come Back Early: Revisiting and Revising

Come Back Early: Revisiting and Revising

Invigorate your poems with a fresh approach

‘One cannot read a book’, wrote Nabokov, ‘one can only reread it’. Revisiting a text, whether reading a favourite poem for the tenth time or looking afresh at a piece of writing you drafted years ago, invigorates it in surprising ways. Does a poem’s electricity spark just as strongly on a rereading – or stronger? Or does it fizzle out? This workshop will, through critical and creative exercises, hold up a magnifying glass to both the poem itself and to our ways of looking, finding ways of turning a fresh pair of eyes on what we do. We’ll explore how acquaintance and unfamiliarity, personal experience and different lenses can colour a text through our close-reading of poems by Jacob Polley, Sharon Olds, Louis MacNeice and others. We’ll discuss how the world – both past and present, internal and external – infiltrates our readings and our writings; whether familiarity (in writing at least) breeds contempt or comfort. We’ll look at how to spruce up a comfortable old idea through redrafting and reinvention – and how to make the most of being an experienced reader. With all this subjectivity and the noisy self, we’ll try to work out ways in which to lead the subjective and multifarious reader where we want her to go. Or at least point her in the right direction.

Saturday 2 February, 10.30am – 4.30pm.

All classes will be in our offices at 1 Dock Offices, Surrey Quays Road, Canada Water, SE16 2XU. The venue is a 2-minute walk from Canada Water Station. Take the ‘Lower Road’ exit from the station onto Surrey Quays Road, then walk straight ahead, crossing over Deal Porters Way, and the Dock Offices come up on the left. The door for the school is at the far end of the building.

More information about how all our face-to-face courses work can be found on the Face-to-Face courses page.

(Image credit: ‘Marc-Anthony Macon’)

About Penny Boxall View Profile

Penny Boxall holds an MA with distinction in Creative Writing (Poetry) from the University of East Anglia. She won the 2016 Edwin Morgan Poetry Award with her debut collection, Ship of the Line. She has held residencies at Gladstone’s Library (Wales), Hawthornden Castle (Scotland) and Chateau de Lavigny (Switzerland). Her poetry has appeared in The Sunday Times, Rialto, The North, Magma and Mslexia. Her second collection, Who Goes There?, was published in September 2018 by Valley Press.

‘The most valuable thing about the poetry school courses for me has been the ability to share work very directly and immediately with others. The directness of the audience places a pressure on my writing which is productive and has been better than writing for my own eyes only.’

– Spring 2018 survey response

Related Courses