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Open Workshop: ‘Dear Zoo – Writing Poems about Rare and Exotic Animals’

What’s your favourite wild animal? We’ve all read poems that feature a sea bird, a house cat, a dog, a fox or a bee. Animals that share our home or our back garden.

But what of those more unusual, less-popular creatures? The aardvark, the clown fish, the wombat, the penguin? The snow macaque? The lavender albino python? Surely they deserve some attention too?

On this new Open Workshop with Francine Elena, by examining a few of the rarer animals in poetry, you will have the chance to explore wilder, weirder (or perhaps just cuter) terrain in your writing, bringing  to life new creature poems in the tradition of D H Lawrence’s mosquito, Elizabeth Bishop’s armadillo or even Vasko Popa’s ‘starry snail’.


Title: ‘Dear Zoo – Writing Poems about Rare and Exotic Animals’

OPEN WORKSHOP STARTS – Thursday 14 May 2015


LIVE CHAT – Thursday 28 May 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.


Francine Elena’s chapbook Christmas Lantern is published by 3:AM Press and her unpublished pamphlet Fluoro was shortlisted for the Pighog Poetry School Prize. Her poems have appeared  in The Best British Poetry 2013 (Salt), Poetry London,Clinic3:AM MagazineThe Quietus and The Honest Ulsterman among others. She grew up in England, Scotland and Portugal and received an MA in Classics from the University of Edinburgh in 2008. @FrancineElena.


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 Credits:

Image: Giant Galapagos tortoises, North Miami Zoo, Florida

Image credit: Boston Public Library