Poems & Houses

Poems & Houses

House & home; poetics of our storied buildings.  

Walls have ears, rooms are ‘stanzas’, floorboards creak, childhood bedrooms reappear in dreams. Houses are somehow eloquent, lending themselves to poetry because they are half way to being poems already. It works both ways around: a poem may describe a remembered or imagined house, but also the idea of a house may provide a way of ‘building’ a poem, shaping it, or haunting it.  

The workshop will explore the possibilities of this densely populated space, drawing both on poetic examples from other people and on our own places. We will look at poems by Charlotte Mew and Warsan Shire, and discuss the very different ways in which both writers use the image of the house in their work. We will explore the relationship between houses and time through exercises in memory and personification, and we will explore the way that houses, like poems, give form to experience by diffusing it into different spaces, levels, angles. The work should lead directly to a poem or two for each participant, with room for reactions from both the group and the workshop leader. 

1 full-day session, running 10.30am – 4.30pm (BST), on 25 May 2024. This course will take place at Somerset House, Strand, London, WC2R 1LA. 

To apply for a concession rate, please send relevant documentation showing your eligibility for one of our concessions to [email protected]. Conditions of eligibility are detailed here. More information about how our In-Person Courses work can be found on the In-Person Courses page. If you have any questions or wish to be added to the waiting list of a sold-out course, please email [email protected]. 

Image credit: @marjan_blan

About Laura Scott View Profile

Laura Scott was born in London and now lives in Norwich. Her poems have appeared in various magazines including PN Review, Poetry Ireland, the Literary Review, the London Magazine and Poetry Review, and one of them won the Geoffrey Dearmer Prize in 2015. Her pamphlet What I Saw won the Michael Marks Prize. Her first collection, So Many Rooms, was The Guardian‘s Poetry Book of the Month when it came out from Carcanet in 2019, and the following year it won the Seamus Heaney First Collection Prize and the East Anglian Book Award for Poetry. The Fourth Sister, also from Carcanet, came out last year and was the Poetry Book of the Month in both The Observer and The Telegraph. 

"The Poetry School has opened my eyes to the wealth of talented poets. It has made me realise that anyone can be a poet and you don't have to be a published poet to get fulfilment out of poetry. With discipline of the mind, anything is possible."

- Autumn 2023 Survey Response

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