Making in the Margins

Making in the Margins

Writing in the often-forgotten zones

Where can a poet from the margins find space to write? The footnote, the citation, the alt text: all of these are potential sites for creative play. 

Poets from Claudia Rankine to Ocean Vuong have shown in their innovative texts that a poem’s apparent marginalia can be a space of freedom. Writing in this often-forgotten zone can layer meaning onto a poem while gesturing to the poet’s own marginalised status. Footnotes in poetry also allude to the subjectivity of written history, where citations lend authority to narratives that ultimately bolster the power and agency of selected populations; by using those same tools, poets can subvert that oppression. 

In this collaborative and generative workshop, we will read work by the contemporary poets Sylvia Chan, Vanessa Angélica Villarreal, Phillip B. Williams, and Sophie Collins, cataloguing a wide range of techniques on subjects including gender, religion, and immigration. We will then work within the community of our workshop to make new poems that shift text and subtext. Participants will leave with a toolbox for future experimentation and the possibility of continuing collaborative work. 

One off In-person Session on Saturday 27 April, 10.30am–1pm (BST). This course will take place at Somerset House, Strand, London, WC2R 1LA. 

Concessions & Accessibility

To apply for a concessionary rate, please send relevant documentation showing your eligibility for one of our concessions to [email protected]; conditions of eligibility are detailed here. If you have any questions, wish to be added to the waiting list of a sold-out course, or require any form of adjustment to access our courses, please email [email protected]. For more information visit our In Person Courses page 

Image credit: Dim Hou

About April Yee View Profile

April Yee’s poetry, fiction, and essays have been named Best of the Net, two-time The Best American Essays Notable, and winner of the Manchester Fiction Prize and Ivan Juritz Prize. A Harvard alumna and former journalist, she reported in more than a dozen countries before moving to London, where she is a Spread the Word trustee and Refugee Journalism Project mentor. Her work is in The Times Literary Supplement, The Offing, and Electric Literature, and she has received support from the Sewanee Writers’ Conference, the Southbank Centre, the National Book Critics Circle, and the University of East Anglia. 

"The opportunity at the Poetry School is to take a deeper dive on very particular topics, bringing many rewards to the process of writing, reading and considering what poetry can do."

- Autumn 2023 Survey Response

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