Shadow of Violence Studio

Shadow of Violence Studio

Cause disquiet, increase tension and leave a shadow of violence on your reader that lingers long after the closing line.

When we think of (or remember) violence, the first thing that often enters our head is the heat and the blinding flash of the peak moment – that razor word; that knockout punch; that gun blast. This is a difficult place from which to start writing because it is the hot and blinding moment and therefore hard to hold and observe. The adrenaline speeds up our emotions and slows down our thoughts. This Studio will look at the moments before, during and after violence, and intricately explore how by placing that peak moment on a timeline you can yield poems of vastly different impact. Through close reading of contemporary work and tailored writing exercises, you will not only study and write the poetry of ‘build-up’ and ‘aftermath’ but also ‘the detached moment’ – poetry with a cold stare that increases the horror by subtly upping the stakes and subverting expectations. Students will also gain greater confidence in how to approach writing about such a difficult (but necessary) subject. By the end of the course your formal, linguistic and narrative choices will have developed to cause disquiet, increase tension, foreshadow, recall, threaten and leave a shadow of violence on your reader that lingers long after the closing line.

Poetry Studios are three week intensive courses. Reading material will be distributed before the course begins. There are no live chats so they are suitable for both UK & International students. 

For more information visit our Online Courses page.

(Image: Daniel Novta)

About Mark Pajak View Profile

Mark Pajak was born in Merseyside. His work has been published in Poetry LondonMagma, The North and The Rialto and been highly commended in the Cheltenham Poetry and National Poetry Competitions. He is this year’s Apprentice Poet in Residence at Ilkley Literature Festival. His poem ‘Spitting Distance’ won first prize in the 2016 Bridport Prize, and his pamphlet of the same name was one of 2016 Laureate’s Choice Pamphlets, chosen by Carol Ann Duffy and published by smith/doorstop. He won an Eric Gregory Award in 2017.



I live on an island off the west coast of Cumbria and I have a disability that means travelling is a real problem. Over the years I've studies poetry quite a bit attending many workshops and longer courses including an MA. The standard of the courses run by Poetry School is consistently higher than anything else I've experienced. It means that I can remain part of a community of poets and continue improving even though I'm so restricted.

Summer 2017 Online Course Survey Response

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