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Every Page A Stage

[Movie trailer voice-over style announcement, very deep and gravel throated]: Coming Soon from The Poetry School – Every Page A Stage – starring Jane Draycott!

With lots of sessions over two weeks and a real concentration of attention on a topic, we’re delighted to welcome Jane Draycott  back to the Poetry School with her Every Page a Stage course, a way of using script and screenplay tricks to vitalise your poems.

Jane has long been interested in this approach – she wrote a short download lesson on The Moving Image for us a while back – but this new course represents a development in her thinking, and we can’t wait to share it with her.

She writes … ‘Some kinds of poem – the kind I enjoy most – are like beautiful controlled explosions, incidents in themselves. Their action’s dynamic and dramatic, like film or theatre, harnessing movement, scene, utterance, a ricochet of association and reaction, a world deliberately detonated and rearranged before our eyes.  They have a way of thinking about ideas and feelings by setting things off, making them transform and shift, and as readers we walk away changed a little ourselves, because of what happened in there.  Look for instance at this short poem by the wonderful Henri Michaux, whose early poems I’ve been translating recently:


Out on the lane to Death

my mother came across a great ice-floe.

She wanted (it was already

getting late) to speak:

a vast, cotton-wool field of ice.

She looked at us, my brother and I,

and then she cried.


We told her – truly absurd lie –

we understood her perfectly.

And then she smiled

her charming young girl’s smile, the one

that was the real her –

her pretty, almost mischievous smile.

After which she was taken, into the great Opaque.      


Alternatively, there’s also Heaney’s re-telling of the Monks of Clonmacnoise legend:

Across the five meetings of Every Page a Stage, we’ll be looking at examples of these different kinds of techniques in action as a way of creating your own new writing through guided supportive exercises, and making space during the longer Saturday meetings for feedback on work in progress.

The intention is that participants will leave with upwards of six new draft poems started and fizzing, plus tips on ways to keep working and revising them. Over the fortnight, we’ll be coming back together once every three or four days, keeping the flame going and the imaginative engine running between-times  with the kind of semi-intensive focus that can sometimes open up quite unexpected new directions.  Finally on our last evening we’ll celebrate – of course – some of the work that’s come out of our time together.

If you’re a poet with some initial experience, though don’t consider yourself necessarily ‘advanced’, then this course is aimed at you.’

(Please bring your own pop-corn)

Do your poems hunger for the limelight, the greasepaint, the roar of the crowd? Then book your place on Every Page A Stage via our website, or ring us on 0207 582 1679.

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Image Credits:

Image: The London Coliseum

Image credit: Wikipedia