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Open Workshop: ‘Exquisite Corpse’

Have you ever wanted to collaborate with a group of poets on one piece of work?

Well, the Surrealists started the Exquisite Corpse enterprise for this very purpose, as a sort of party game or parlour trick, a kinetic placement of ideas and images. So let’s create our monster: no rules, no theme, no demands, except that all contributions are concealed until the body of work is complete, then we will step back to wait for the lightning.

In this Open Workshop with Janette Ayachi, the Poetry School’s Digital Poet in Residenceyou will be posting lines and conjoining them together to generate a poem charged from the CAMPUS ether. You will look at how the process began as a visual art form, and you will learn how wonderful it can be to be detached from subject, writing for the sake of writing, automatically and without purpose other than to assist a bigger picture – lines will become limbs and poets will become the donors. The finished body may end up being absurd; but the variability at play, the unforeseen elements and group participation will gloriously disrupt the conscious mind’s affinity for procedure, and possibly invite change to the way you frequently structure your poems.


Title: ‘Exquisite Corpse’

OPEN WORKSHOP STARTS – Thursday 10 September 2015

POEM SUBMISSION DEADLINE – Thursday 17 September 2015

LIVE CHAT – Thursday 24 September 2015, 7-9pm GMT

To book your place, please email [email protected]

Note: places are given on a first-come first-served basis, but priority may be given to first-time students.


Janette Ayachi is a Scottish-Algerian poet living in Edinburgh. She has been published in over fifty literary journals and anthologies, including New Writing Scotland, Gutter, The Istanbul Review, Magma, Oxford Poetry, Be the First to Like This: New Scottish Poetry(Vagabond Voices, 2014), Out There: Anthology of LGBT Writers(Freight, Glasgow, 2014) and The Best British Poetry 2015 (Salt). She has been short-listed for Write Queer London as well as a Lancelot Andrewes Award judged by Carol Ann Duffy. She is the winner of the Barbara Burford prize from The Young Enigma Awards 2014. Her film-poem collaboration On Meeting a Fox was part of the official selection for the Visible Verse Festival in Vancouver in 2013. She is the author of the poetry pamphlets Pauses at Zebra Crossings (Original Plus Press, 2012) and A Choir of Ghosts(Calderwood Press, 2013). She edits the online arts journal The Undertow Review and performs her poetry across the U.K. She is currently the Poetry School’s Digital Poet in Residence.


Open Workshops runs a free writing workshop every month, open to all CAMPUS members, ranging from practical exercises, technical masterclasses, to new and experimental approaches to making poetry. Email [email protected] for more information.

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Image: Max Ernst