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Summer 2018 Courses Quick Guide

The Summer 2018 Term is now open for booking!

We are delighted to open the booking period for the final term of our 20th anniversary year at the Poetry School.

Remember that new students get 15% off all courses, just give us a call to get your discount! Concessions are available, and applications for bursaries – covering up to 75% of course costs – are now open.

See our Quick Guide to this term’s courses below.



Face-to-face courses taking place over one or two full days in London.

Trash Poetics with Elaine Kahn

Use trash language – from the profane to the insane, from found ad-copy to your own failed drafts – as raw material to create a wealth of new work. Book here.

Metic Poets with Nick Makoha

Join writer-in-exile Nick Makoha for this workshop, as part of his Black Metics project, where you will look into the experience of black poets in the UK and US. Book here.

The New York Influence 1: O’Hara, Ashbery and Visual Art with Tamar Yoseloff

Take inspiration from O’Hara and Ashbery’s work as poets, critics and curators, alongside the art of their contemporaries, such as de Kooning, Guston and Pollock. Book here.

The Nervous Line and its Performative Break with Holly Pester

Study the dynamics of a line of poetry, and consider ways in which a line might be wildly interpreted. Book here.

When I Was at my Most Beautiful with Katrina Naomi

Try a range of exercises based on contemporary Japanese poetry and traditional Japanese forms. Book here.

Divinity of the Body with Andrew McMillan

Borrow the stories and language of religion and use this as a way of discussing the carnal, the weak, the shameful, the loving and the harmful parts of ourselves. Book here.

The New York Influence 2: Basquiat and Jazz Poetry with Tamar Yoseloff

Take inspiration from Basquiat, Langston Hughes and Frank O’Hara, and use improvisatory and collaborative energy to create new poems. Book here.

Creative Translation with Jen Calleja

Generate poetry through the transformation of other texts and art forms into poetry: collage, sound, fiction, and more. Book here.

Literary Locomotion: The Poetry of Movement with Rebecca Goss

Explore poems on the pleasures and pains of exertion, and consider emotional reactions triggered by bodily effort. Book here.



Five- or ten-week courses held at our London classrooms in Lambeth. 

Shaping a Style with Tim Dooley

Construct an independent voice and to develop confidence both in shaping your work and in defending it. Book here.

On Noticing and Startling: Writing Short Stories with Eley Williams and David Hayden

Explore affinities between poetry and the short story, and consider the ways in which writers including Ali Smith and George Sanders approach both narrative and poetic language in their work. Book here.

Talking Back: Poetry, Dialogue and Voice with Kate Potts

Explore the power and potential of voice and dialogue in poetry, while developing your own unique poetic voice. Book here.

Writing from the Body: Physical Interaction and Multisensory Intrusions with Abi Palmer

Discuss how physical / sensory experience can shape and alter how we perceive language, and how we can harness physical experience, limitations and intrusions to manipulate and transform a text. Book here.



Friday’s Child with Mark Pajak

Look at the ways poets have written from the point of view of children, remembered childhood, or written about their own children to give a fresh perspective on an adult world. Book here.

Saturday Sessions with Ann and Peter Sansom

Create poems from inspirational exercises and share your writing in a marvellously inspirational space. Book here.



Poetics of Presence with Matti Spence

Consider how, through our writing, we might discover ways of expanding how we experience the present moment. Book here.



Ecopoetry, Environmentalism and Activism with Samantha Walton

The environmental crisis demands a cultural response: what role might poetry might have in critiquing the conditions of the present and imagining new futures? Book here.



Online ten-week courses featuring five assignments and a scheduled fortnightly live chat to feedback on your work.

Taboo: Saying the Unsaid with Christina Thatcher

Join us to create a space, temporarily removed from society, in which to read, write and say what usually goes unsaid. Book here.

More Life: Philosophy as Poetry with Will Harris

Use philosophical concepts to sharpen your poetry, and poetry to bring those concepts to life. Book here.

Two for Joy: Happy Poems with Rachel Piercey

Doesn’t that seem like a glorious challenge – to write a muscularly, incisively, defiantly happy poem? Book here.

The Opposite House: But we never go in that room! with Sarah Byrne

This course will guide you around the house of opposites by drawing on key psychoanalytical ideas from practitioners such as Sigmund Freud, Sabina Spielrein, and Wilhelm Stekel. Book here.

Die Like A Wolf: Poetry and the Non-human with Suzannah Evans

Can we put aside our human identities as writers and  take on the point of view of animals, inanimate objects or even robots, or are we so tied up by language that we’ll always fall short of the task? Book here.

At Risk: Going Somewhere Different in Poetry with Jennifer Wong

How can poetry speak to us if it does not take risks, say something bold and new, and make adventurous leaps with language and form? Book here.



Ten-weeks and five assignments but no live chats. Feedback is written and posted to the group making it more accessible to students based in international time-zones or with varying schedules. 

Each Thing’s A Thief: Memory, Theft and Tradition with Adam Crothers

Avoid plagiarism, but explore the creative activity of appropriation and “stealing”. Book here.

Smears & Caresses: Poetry and Abstract Art with Peter Hughes

Rather than simply describing artworks, create poems which themselves take on the characteristics of the most exciting art of the past century. Book here.

Tales from the World City with David Tait

Dive into dark alleyways, discovering poetry and prose that has been inspired by some of the greatest cities in the world. Book here.

Fully Automated Radical Pessimism with Leah Umansky

Take your anguish, your rage and your pessimism, channel it into your poetry. This is a course for anyone who believes writing could be the way out. Book here.

Discovering The Divine with Richard Georges

How can poetry help us discover the ecstatic in the everyday? Book here.



Transreading the Baltics with Elżbieta Wójcik-Leese

Read recent poetry from Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia and compose your own poems in response to these readings in translation. Book here.

Decolonising Translation: Poetry, Power, Relation, and Difference with Nisha Ramayya

Consider the possibilities of translation practices that enable cultural exchange without cultural appropriation. Book here.



Receive insightful feedback on five poems over ten weeks. 

Eric Berlin with Fortnightly Feedback

Knock those loose poems into shape with some concentrated feedback. Book here.



Advanced online courses run over a longer twelve-week period featuring six assignments and in-depth discussion.

Eternal Sunshine: The Elements of Poetic Language with Liane Strauss

A lyrical look at feeling, forgetting, intuition, image, and seeing the world in a totally new way. Book here.



Intensive three-week writing courses. Less emphasis on tutor feedback, more on inspiration.

Writing as Wanting: Desire Studio with Gloria Dawson

All writing comes from desire, as well as often being explicitly about it. This Studio will keep both elements of desire and writing in play – the desire for language, and the possible articulations of desire. Book here.

Archiving Your Self Yourself: Quantified Self Studio with James Davies 

In an age in which we are archived by others, it seems more important than ever to define ourselves. Book here.

Thrill River Studio with Heidi Williamson

Whether your interest in rivers is more Three Men in a Boat or Heart of Darkness, you’ll find something to get your ideas flowing in this three week online Studio. Book here.

Sestina Insanity Studio with Jason Schneiderman

Conquer the complex, elaborate, diabolical sestina. Book here.



The final term of our three-term courses, held over ten weekly sessions at our Lambeth classrooms. 

Advanced Poetry Workshop with Jack Underwood

For students breaking into publishing their work, thinking about their motives & direction, and after rigourous critiques of works-in-progress. Book here.

Pamphlet/Portfolio with Wayne Holloway-Smith

The friendly push and crucial support you need to hone that pile of poems into a larger work and take your next steps in poetry. Book here.

The Construction of the Poem with various tutors

Work with a range of top Poetry School tutors across 30 weeks & write and workshop poems across a range of different forms. Book here.

Routes into Poetry with Tamar Yoseloff

A starter’s gun of a course, examining the basics of rhyme, metre, form and structure, through writing exercises and workshops. Book here.

Poem, Prompt, Pick & Mix with Jacqueline Saphra

An intermediate course for those looking to develop their writing and style through experimentation, play and close reading. Book here.

Advanced Poetry Workshop with Sasha Dugdale

Join Forward Prize-winning Sasha Dugdale for stimulating weekly workshops, rigourous critiques of your poems-in-progress and a development of your poetic craft. Book here.

Intermediate Poetry Workshop with David Crystal

Not just a step down from the above, but a supportive group for feedback, new ideas, writing to theme & experimenting with forms. Book here.

Advanced Poetry Workshop with Special Guests 1 & 2 with Kathryn Maris

So popular, we’re running it twice! Book your place to develop your work with weekly workshops, with three sessions enhanced by special guest poets. Book here for the Morning Group and book here for the Afternoon Group.

Saturday Sessions with Ros Barber

A weekend workshop for those of us with busier weekdays. Join Ros for one full day a month to get feedback on poems and generate new ones. Book here.

First Encounters with Meryl Pugh

Take your first steps into the world of poetry! Always wanted to write poetry, but not sure where to start? Then this is the course for you. Book here.


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