“The Phrase”

“The Phrase”

Explore how phrases can form a vital part of your poetry toolkit, and how deploying a choice phrase can inject something unique into your poems.

The phrase is one of those areas of language that is can easily be overlooked when we’re discussing poetry. Yet developing the knack of knowing which phrases to use or how to phrase the things we wish to say can be in vital for creating unique and original poems. Are some kinds of phrases more poetic than others? Are there phrases that you feel you overuse? Does what you are saying matter as much as the way that you say it?

We’ll be exploring how the phrase relates relates to, yet differs from, other aspects of poetic language, such as imagery, the poetic line, rhythm, and the development of a poetic voice. We will use a series of writing exercises to explore how a close awareness of the phrases you use can make your poems more readable and your writing more effective. Among the poets we’l be looking at will be Jorie Graham, Robert Hass, W.S. Graham and Karen Solie.

This course is a half-day workshop running 10:30am – 1pm on Tuesday 24 July and is part of our Summer School. To find out more about the courses in the Summer School, please see here.

Image credit: ‘DeeAshley’

About Matthew Welton View Profile

Matthew Welton was born in Nottingham, lives in Nottingham and lectures in creative writing at the University of Nottingham. His writing practice includes collaborations with musicians, visual artists and other writers. His interest in poetry has to do with explorations of the sounds of words and the possibilities of repetition. He has published three books with Carcanet: The Book of Matthew (2003), ‘We needed coffee but…’ (2009) and The Number Poems (2016). Recognition includes an Eric Gregory Award, the Jerwood-Aldeburgh Prize, second place in the Arvon Poetry Competition 2002 and a Poetry Book Society recommendation.

‘[The Poetry School] made me realise that there is a poetry community, which is diverse, creative, curious and interesting, and that I belong to it.’

– Spring 2018 survey response

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