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All the groups in our Network.

Wunderkammer! Writing the Curious (Summer 2014)

Private Group with 12 members

‘The first and the simplest emotion which we discover in the human mind is Curiosity. By curiosity,I mean whatever the desire we have for, or the pleasure we take, in novelty’ – Edmund Burke. Are you a curious person? Would you follow the white rabbit or unlock all of the doors of Bluebeard’s Castle? Do you see science as organised wonder? Are you enthralled by the idiosyncratic? Do you ask lots of questions? Then you’ve come to the right place. In the 16th Century, Wunderkammers or ‘Cabinets of Curiosities’ were put together by apothecaries, physicians and botanists who wished to study the objects they had assembled. They were used to expand knowledge and also as reliquaries to pleasure, and such cabinets are the precursors to contemporary galleries and museums. On this course you will consider the nature of curiosity, make use of online resources, examine curious objects and explore the idea of memory as a Wunderkammer. There’s the White Rabbit! No time to lose!

How Free is Free?

Private Group with 2 members

This course will look at contemporary UK and US poets who use what we call free verse, that which does not rely on form and pattern to drive the poem’s structure. Does free verse truly exist? Where does it cross over with fiction? When is it successful, and not merely chatty? Students will be encouraged to write and share poems which are sparked by the work we look at.

Poetry and the Stuff of Modern Living

Private Group with 1 member

Much poetry addresses the timeless or nostalgic -relationships, family, memory, landscape – but this course will consider how contemporary poets incorporate specifically modern aspects of their lives in their work. We’ll consider poems about work – why they are rare, and how they can be successful. Then we’ll visit contemporary urban spaces such as hotels, cafes, car parks and shops in search of inspiration. Finally, we’ll take a look at what role modern objects(the smartphone, the HDTV, the Oyster card) might play in poems. How will we balance the excitement which comes from addressing the detail of our real lives now with the risk that poetry which is too specifically current can swiftly become dated? How contemporary can we be and still write poetry which lasts?

Is Nature Poetry Dead?

Private Group with 1 member

Is Nature poetry – like us – an endangered species? Certainly our manner of observing nature and its importance to our lives may have changed. In this course, comparative readings of poetry from the USA, UK and Ireland will prompt discussions of such topics and those concerning stylistic and cultural differences of approach. Bring a favourite nature poem. There will be writing exercises and a session devoted to workshopping your own poems.

A Century of Scottish Poetry, Part 1 – ’Scotland small?’

Private Group with 3 members

This year, Scotland will vote on its future independence from the United Kingdom at the same time as the centenary of World War I. One of Scotland’s most famous and divisive poets, Hugh MacDiarmid, participated non-violently in that war for the sake of small nations, coming out of the trenches with a renewed interest in Scotland and a belief in its potential as the locus of a literary movement his friend Denis Saurat termed ‘the Scottish Literary Renaissance’. A great polyphony of poetic voices has emerged from Scotland since, impacted by a remarkable century of restless social change and political ferment. This innovative course will explore some of Scotland’s finest poems over the last 100 years, beginning with the poetry of WW1 and the ballad tradition and ending with a crop of young poets writing their best work right now. By looking at four to six poems per decade, per session, you will see that Scotland is anything but small when it comes to its poetry!

This course will be followed next term by ‘A History of Scottish Poetry, Part 2’

To book your place on this course, please go to:

Online Feedback Course with Liz Berry

Private Group with 16 members

Do you have a heap of discarded poems sitting on your sideboard or desktop which just won’t work no matter how many revisions you make? The Poetry School’s online poetry workshops provide a place for the general improvement of your left-for-dead poems, your work in need of refreshment, and your brand new pieces. Bring poems of any shape or size to these workshops for detailed written feedback once a fortnight from a tutor, and general forum feedback from fellow students. This group will be especially good for those working towards a manuscript, or those with a large batch of poems that they are looking to ready for magazine submission.

Form and Freefall

Private Group with 12 members

This workshop group will use published poems to generate writing exercises and discussion that explore the use of form. We will look at poems that observe structural rules and/or break and change them. We will also question what we mean by ‘risk’, and how we can be riskier in our own writing. Every second week will be dedicated to workshopping poems arising from the course – participants will therefore be expected to produce at least one new rough draft every fortnight for the course’s duration.

The Bloomsday Project: Ulysses Writing Course

Private Group with 11 members

Chris McCabe’s three-term course takes students on a literary odyssey using James Joyce’s epic text as inspiration. Ulysses is a one-man compendium of forms, inspirational for its radical rethinking of what literature can be. From found poetry to sound; from the recycling of previous genres to the inspiration of food and the city, students will not only create new poetry responding to sections of Ulysses but will also discuss ideas around Joyce’s thinking as a writer. The course will build towards an event performed by students on 16 June 2014, the 110th anniversary of Bloomsday.

In this Spring term, you’ll use Ulysses as a prompt to create new pieces of writing.

Find out more here:–ulysses-writing—performing-course.php#sthash.4jP7BV0A.dpuf

The Plot Inside the Poem

Private Group with 4 members

Beginning with the premise that inside every poem there’s a nugget of story, or at least that our minds are complicit in seeing one, you’ll examine the often hidden role of narrative in poetry, and practise some of the techniques that poets use to disguise, subvert and mutate the story whilst retaining enough of it to entice the reader to read between the lines, read on, and read again.

Pamphlet Potential

Private Group with 1 member

Are you entering a pamphlet competition or gathering your work to send to pamphlet publishers? If you would like some help working through principles to help you increase your chances of success come along to Daljit’s course. In the sessions, Daljit will help you realise the potential of your poetry by getting you closer to the essence of your work so it shapes the reader’s response whilst ensuring its best qualities are evident.

New Homers – a Reading & Writing Course

Private Group with 2 members

Christopher Logue, Alice Oswald, Michael Longley and Derek Mahon have all written brilliant adaptations of Homer, from the cinematic drama and violence of Logue’s War Music to the majestic sweep and poignancy of Oswald’s Memorial and the compact lyrics of Longley and Mahon. We will examine and discuss their very different approaches and draw inspiration for our own new poems from them. No previous knowledge of Homer required.

Every Page a Stage

Private Group with 1 member

A series of five writing workshops over two weeks, experimenting with ways to dramatise the imaginative worlds of your poems using composition tricks held in common with drama and scriptwriting. Looking at the power of scene and setting, the dynamics of characterised voice and spot-dialogue, as well as suspense and tension, each workshop will consist of exercises to produce draft new poems for revision and development in your own time.

Pull Out All The Stops poets

Private Group with 12 members

A group for the poets involved with the South Bank Centre’s Pull Out All The Stops project …

Advanced Poetry Workshop (Pascale Petit)

Private Group with 9 members

This is a Campus group associated with Pascale Petit’s Advanced Poetry Workshop, a place for course members to share work, resources and conversation.

Course description: For poets writing at an advanced level, an in-depth feedback workshop of your poems in progress and discussion of the direction and development of your work. There won’t be writing exercises, but each session will be kicked off with reading published poetry to spark off new ideas, and to keep your poetic discipline focused over the year.


Private Group with 8 members

This is a Campus group associated with Mimi Khalvati’s Versification course, a place for course members to share work, resources and conversation.

Course description:If you have been practising poetry with confidence for some time, this course will help you address some of the more formal challenges of both metrical and free verse in depth and in detail. You will explore the relationship of form and content; metre, rhyme and syntax; stanzaic and fixed forms; lineation and stylistic choices in free verse.

Tammy’s Seminar 5

Private Group with 8 members

A private group for members of Tamar Yoseloff’s seminar 5 to share re-drafts of poems presented in class.

‘It don’t mean a thing if ain’t got that swing’: Composing Poetry

Private Group with 1 member

‘It don’t mean a thing if ain’t got that swing’: is this true for poetry? This course, aimed at beginners and those who’d like to re-tune their writing, aims to explore the music of poetry. You’ll read (and listen to) a wide range of poems, from past masters of the lyric to 21st Century voices, from Wordsworth to Warner, in order to help you think about the composition and sound of your own writing. Each session will give you the chance to share your poems with a critical yet constructive audience, improving your confidence as a writer and reader.

Advanced Poetry Workshop (Mimi Khalvati)

Private Group with 8 members

This is a Campus group associated with Mimi Khalvati’s Advanced Poetry Workshop, a place for course members to share work, resources and conversation.

Course description: In-depth focus on your poems in progress and the overall direction and development of your work. There won’t be writing exercises, but the sessions will be enlivened by reading published poetry as a stimulus for your writing and discussion.

Tutor Academy

Private Group with 5 members

This is a Campus group associated with the Tutor Academy course, a place for course members to share work, resources and conversation.

Course description:We don’t only teach poetry writing skills at the Poetry School. We help working poets extend their range too – hence this course where experienced poets, new to teaching, try their wings in front of a class of helpful students. James Brookes will be looking at vanity, Luke Heeley at iconography, Wayne Holloway Smith will be ‘making it wonky’, Holly Hopkins will sort out your list poems and Sarah Howe will be working with dream poems. (More details on Lots of great prompts for and feedback on your writing at half the price of our usual courses.

Taking Your Writing Further

Private Group with 1 member

This is a Campus group associated with Myra Schneider’s Taking Your Writing Further course, a place for course members to share work, resources and conversation.

Course description: A group which focuses on detailed feedback and discussion of your poems in each session, also key topics. This year topics will include the music of poetry, taking risks, subtexts and some key twentieth century poets.