Rules Were Made to be Broken

Rules Were Made to be Broken

Free yourself from poetry's "don'ts" to produce surprising, disobedient work

Show don’t tell. Never use adverbs. Or the word ‘shard’. We’ve all encountered poetry’s “rules”– trotted out at workshops and in writing guides – but are these rules actually useful, or do they just impose one idea of what poetry should be? And what happens if we break the rules? In this workshop we will explore the reasons rules evolve and, by reading inspiring, rule-breaking poets and through liberating practical exercises, try to free ourselves from poetry’s “don’ts” to produce surprising, disobedient and unruly work of our own.

Saturday 17 February. One-day workshop, 10.30am – 4.30pm.

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

About David Clarke View Profile

David Clarke’s first pamphlet, Gaud, won the Michael Marks Award in 2013. His first collection, Arc, was published by Nine Arches Press in 2015 and longlisted for the Polari Book Prize. His most recent pamphlet, Scare Stories (2017) is from V Press. He blogs at

This was my first workshop at the Poetry School, but I can already see the difference in my writing -it has opened my eyes to greater possibilities where writing is concerned.

Summer 2017 Survey Response

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