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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 2016.

Ryan’s Blues Studio will take a look at all the things that makes blues what it is: melancholy yet soulful, a way of reflecting on emotional pain with heightened heart and music. His series of exercises will begin by finding inspiration from the traditional form, rhyme and metre and move into exploding the genre, taking it to its limits to inspire our own writing. Find out more on the Course page.

To celebrate, we’ve asked Ryan to curate a gallery of the blues music and poetry that is on his mind as he prepares the course. Do contribute your own in the comments section to help us build it up! Happy listening…

A 1949 recording of Leadbelly six months before his death at the University of Texas

Etheridge Knight’s powerful poem ‘The Idea of Ancestry’

You Don’t Miss Your Water (Till Your Well Runs Dry) by blues legend Taj Mahal

The late Maya Angelou talks and reads ‘The Mask’ on American TV

“I woke up this morning…” – A classic recording of Bessie Smith

“Droning a drowsy syncopated tune,
Rocking back and forth to a mellow croon”
Langston Hughes reads ‘The Weary Blues’ with a jazz accompaniment in 1958

Joni Mitchell’s 1970 song Blue

Riff on sadness & grief, joy & happiness on Ryan Van Winkle’s Blues Studio. Book online or call 0207 582 1679 to book your place.

Ryan Van Winkle is a poet, live artist, podcaster and critic living in Edinburgh. His second collection, The Good Dark, won the Saltire Society’s 2015 Poetry Book of the Year Award. His poems have appeared in New Writing Scotland, The Prairie Schooner, The American Poetry Review, AGNI and Best Scottish Poems 2015. He was awarded a Robert Louis Stevenson fellowship in 2012 and a residency at The Studios of Key West in 2016.

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