Courses

Poetry & Visual Art Gallery Day Schedule Announced

Interested in poetry and art? Then join our upcoming course with Tamar Yoseloff, featuring a gallery day on Saturday 13th May, followed by a writing workshop on June 10th. Students here will be treated to an exclusive tour of ‘The High Low Show’ in the Laure Genillard gallery, led by the show’s curator, Paul Carey-Kent….

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‘The Art of Memory: Poetry of the Past and Present’

Memory is who we are. It is the story that we tell ourselves about where we come from and how we got to be here now. At the same time, our sense of the past is constantly shifting. We re-interpret it in the re-telling and adapt our past to our present purposes. My new online…

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‘The Zoo of the New: Writing Childhood and Family’

Would you be a child again? For all its wonder, innocence, joy and freedom, childhood can also be full of insecurity, confusion and darkness. After all, it is a land of extremes where every feeling, no matter how transitory, is worn on the face. Children cannot help expressing their authentic selves, regardless of the situation….

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‘I sing the praises of a fart’: On Keeping Our Wits

More than ever, we need to keep our wits about us. If our shared reality seems increasingly topsy turvy, our need for wit – as a way of seriously and playfully experimenting with language and digesting diverse experiences – must be at its greatest. It’s a subject we’ll be exploring closely on my upcoming online course, Keeping…

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‘Thought, in poetry, is felt’

Alright, sometimes a poem can be too conceptual, too austerely cerebral, too loftily academic, too preeningly intellectual, too all-round thinky. Sure. But only as much as other poems can be too runnily sentimental, too intellectually lazy and biddable. Surely some kind of middle ground is in order, then? I believe that this middle ground should…

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Melting identities: does it matter where you are from?

There is no doubt about it: the world is changing, and changing quickly. As people travel from one place to another to work or live, they create increasingly multicultural communities where different ideas, customs and languages interact, combine and clash. In London, for example, the streets are filled with the cadences of different dialects as people…

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Pattern is not an algorithm: on poetry and pattern

Pattern in poetry is not just an algorithm at work, i.e., ‘the poem that writes itself’. In fact, it might be said that anything that writes itself, whether it be a moral code, a way of handling people, an approach of giving a percentage of income to charity, is bound for trouble. We live in…

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To Sea in a Sieve: The Joy of Writing Children’s Poetry

Whenever I talk about children’s poetry, I end up using the word ‘joy’. Multiple times. Sometimes I throw in a ‘delight’ or two as well. I’ll do that here, too, because it’s the key point I want to get across: it is a total joy to read, write and perform children’s poetry, and one I…

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Islands, poetry and getting away from it all

I remember giving a set of poems at ‘Reading the Leaves’, a night in Tchai Ovna in Glasgow where I liked to try out new work alongside other poets, novelists and writers.  The poems in my set were mostly new, and seemed to arise independently of one another, but a striking commonality revealed itself as…

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Haiku Rebellion: An interview with Lynne Rees

An Interview with Lynne Rees

“I think there’s a democratic aspect to haiku that persists in Japan and in the West that’s very appealing: groups of ordinary people meet to write and share their haiku and, inevitably, their lives”

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Anti-Poetry for today: Melissa Lee-Houghton looks to reinvent Dada

This is a course for people who want to do something new and respond to the world around them by writing poems which engage with the fizzing energy and anarchic vibe of Dada whilst exploring contemporary art, film and writing and assimilating the current political climate. So what will poets be doing on this course?…

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Adventures in the Blind Field: An Interview with Sally Flint

An Interview with Sally Flint

“The art of really looking intrigues me – especially how poets interpret, use and move beyond what they see

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A Tale from the World City: David Tait

“Leaving there and proceeding for three days toward the east, you will reach Diomira, a city with sixty silver domes, bronze statues of all the gods, streets paved with lead, a crystal theatre, a golden cock that crows each morning on a tower. All these beauties will already be familiar to the visitor, who has…

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Site-Seeing: An Interview with Holly Corfield Carr

An Interview with Holly Corfield Carr

“Writing poems for particular places might change the way we write, but finding places to write particular poems changes the way we move through the world”

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Ryan Van Winkle’s Blues Gallery

This Autumn, we introduce a new course format on CAMPUS: the Poetry Studio. These will be three-week intensive writing sessions, with inspirational challenges designed for you to get as many poems on the page as possible. We’ve called on our poetry podcaster extraordinaire, Ryan Van Winkle, to take charge of the first of these in September…

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The Stanza: Why do poems have them?

I have a fair few books about writing poetry on my shelves, some more helpful and inspiring than others. They do seem to have one thing in common, though: while they spend plenty of time talking about the poetic line, they have nothing much to say about the stanza. They may discuss set forms of…

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The Bloodjet: An Interview with Katrina Naomi

An Interview with Katrina Naomi

“I think the main thing for me is if you’re going to write about violence, do it well. Let us smell it, taste it.”

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How to Collaborate with Yourself

One of my favourite comics is Robot Hugs’ Identity Shift. It’s addressed to folk exploring gender and sexuality, reassuring them about the anxieties that come when identity shifts and changes over time, but it makes a broader and stranger point: that all of us present ourselves as different people in different places. The face we…

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Making Birds: an Interview with R.A. Villanueva

An Interview with R.A. Villanueva

R.A. Villanueva is an award-winning Filipino-American poet and founding editor of Tongue: A Journal of Writing & Art. His first collection, Reliquaria, won the Prairie Schooner Book Prize, and new writing appears in Poetry, Prac Crit and widely elsewhere. Now living in the UK, Ron’ll be teaching the Summer Term course Making Birds: New Poetic…

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‘Readers of Faces: Poetry as Portraiture’

“Most people ignore most poetry because most poetry ignores most people.”  – Adrian Mitchell I like people. I like reading about them. I like talking to them and getting to know them. I like writing about them. It might just be age, but these days I can’t think of anything worse than meditating on my…

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‘Beyond Romanticism: Green Lanes & Byways’

What are the contours of Romanticism beyond the ‘Big Six’ poets, who we at least think we know? There is no doubting the achievements of Wordsworth, Coleridge and Blake, or Byron, Shelley and Keats: but their poetry sprang from a culture as infinitely rich and various as their verse itself, marked by social ferment and…

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Shape Up and Send: an interview with Rishi Dastidar

An Interview with Rishi Dastidar

Rishi! Hello! You’re running a new course for us this term, ‘Shape Up and Send’, can you tell us a little bit about that? Rishi: Well, at the moment I’m still plotting what we’ll be up to; but what I really want people to come away with over the five weeks is a) that the…

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The Poet’s Book: an interview with Lavinia Singer and Anna Robinson

An Interview with Lavinia Singer & Anna Robinson

We interviewed Anna Robinson and Lavinia Singer about their new Poetry School course, The Poet’s Book. Hi Anna! Hi Lavinia! How are you? And what are you both up to? Anna: I am well thanks! I teach writing to students at UEL, at Barking library and to prisoners by distance learning, so I have been…

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Retrospective: Looking back on ‘Hide and Seek in the Ideas Forest’ with Sophie Herxheimer

In this retrospective, we’ll be looking back at some of the poems and works of art created by students on Sophie Herxheimer’s recent Poetry School workshop,  ‘Hide and Seek in the Ideas Forest: Poetry and Picture Making’, and having a chat with Sophie herself about the day. First up, the interview…   Hi Sophie. In the workshop,…

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‘Radio, Radio: Making Poetry Sound’

I listened to The Verb on Radio 3 long before I ever appeared on it, and before I made my first radio documentary. I remember Ken Campbell talking about language, Wendy Cope making poems about going to classical music concerts. It was exciting and inspirational to hear people on the radio talking about poetry, and…

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