Poetry & Music: Kissing Kin

Poetry & Music: Kissing Kin

A day for poets to explore music and musicality, and what it can mean within your own writing.

*This course will take place in venue near to Hereford (the address of the venue will be sent to the participants before the first session). *

We know intuitively that poetry and music are close relatives. They don’t meet only in song itself, but in the musicality of poems and the expressiveness of music. From ekphrasis to collaborative opportunities, and from performance to new experiences in listening, music offers astonishing resources to poets. In this one-day workshop, poet and ‘reformed musician’ Fiona Sampson, who spent the first years of her working life as a violinist, leads exercises which explore these resources. 

Music is part of all our lives, and we will work on some of the ways we can – or already do – bring music into our writing, not only as a topic but as a technique. From counting beats to handling the phrasal breath, we’ll pay attention to and experiment with kinds of musical ‘composition’ in poetry. 

This is a day for all poets who care about the sounds their work makes, and about the meanings of sound. Everyone is welcome. We certainly don’t expect you to be any kind of musician to participate – nor even particularly passionate about music of any kind. 

1 full-day session, running 10.30am–4.30pm (GMT), on 9 March 2024. This course will take place in venue near to Hereford (the address of the venue will be sent to the participants before the first session, if you are coming from a long distance please specify, and we will put you in touch with the tutor who offers accommodation in holiday lets).  

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: @rocinante_11

About Fiona Sampson View Profile

Fiona Sampson is published in thirty-eight languages. Honours include an MBE for services to literature, the Newdigate and Cholmondeley prizes, awards from the Arts Councils of England and of Wales, Society of Authors, PBS and AHRC, and numerous Book of the Year selections. Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature and of the British Trust for Literary Romanticism, she has been a finalist multiple times for the T.S. Eliot and Forward Prizes. Alongside international poetry prizes in the US, Bosnia, India, and North Macedonia, she recently received the 2019 Naim Frashëri Laureateship, the 2020 European Lyric Atlas Prize and Wales Poetry Book of the Year for Come Down (Hachette 2021). 

Her books on poetry writing process include Beyond the Lyric (Penguin Random House 2012) and Lyric Cousins: Poetry and Musical Form (EUP 2016). She edited the ‘poet to poet’ Percy Bysshe Shelley (Faber 2012), and her Limestone Country was a Guardian nature writing book of the year. A prolific critic, librettist, broadcaster, and literary translator, from 2005–12 she edited Poetry Review; she’s served internationally on literary juries and the boards of publishing houses and literary NGOs, and on the Council of the Royal Society of Literature. She’s Trustee of the Royal Literary Fund and Professor Emerita of Poetry, University of Roehampton. Her critically acclaimed In Search of Mary Shelley was followed by Two-Way Mirror: The life of Elizabeth Barrett Browning (W.W. Norton 2022), a New York Times Editors’ Choice and Washington Post Book of the Year, a finalist for the Plutarch Prize and the US PEN Jacqueline Bograd Weld Biography Prize. 

‘The Poetry School offers an amazing, wonderful, high-calibre, professional, warm, and welcoming environment of tutors and peers in which my poetry and my appreciation of poetry have flourished I am forever grateful. I will be back for more classes!’

- Summer 2023 survey response

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