Go With the Flow

Go With the Flow

Shake up your poems with speed, flow and swerve

As the noted cultural commentator and former Manchester United captain, Roy Keane, once said: ‘Do you know what goes with the flow? A dead fish’. In this two-day workshop, we will consider how a more critical reading of speed, flow, rhythm and disruption can contribute to more interesting ways of both writing and thinking. From discussing the odd philosopher to discussing speed, poise, surprise and shock in the work of poets such as Matthew Dickman, Denise Levertov, Rebecca Perry, and Denise Riley, we’ll ask how both the seduction of rhythm and the clatter of the different can teach us to question, use and disrupt the rhythms of our own writing to produce more engaging poems. When does the impulse to communicate kill the imagination of a poem? Why, how and when can a rough and disruptive poetics produce more fulfilling poems? When is an ending too perfect? Starting from reading and discussing a few brilliant poems, we will move through writing exercises and the re-drafting of poems we’ve already written, to thinking about the means and technologies by which poems themselves can be voiced, always with the aim of improving our writing and, with it, the reader’s experience of our work.

Two-day weekend workshop. 10.30am – 4.30pm, 18 + 19 May.

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: sj liew

About Ahren Warner View Profile

Ahren Warner is a poet, critic and editor. He is the author of three books of poetry, Confer (Bloodaxe, 2011), Pretty (Bloodaxe, 2013) and Hello. Your Promise Has Been Extracted (Bloodaxe, 2017). He also takes photographs and makes films, which have been screened or exhibited at venues including the Centro de Cultura Digital (Mexico City), EU National Institute of Cultures (Athens) and Great North Museum (Newcastle). Until recently, he was Poetry Editor of Poetry London. 

‘Poetry School courses push me into writing more and stretch my ideas.’

– Autumn 2018 survey response

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