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‘Beyond Romanticism: Green Lanes & Byways’

What are the contours of Romanticism beyond the ‘Big Six’ poets, who we at least think we know? There is no doubting the achievements of Wordsworth, Coleridge and Blake, or Byron, Shelley and Keats: but their poetry sprang from a culture as infinitely rich and various as their verse itself, marked by social ferment and…

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Shape Up and Send: an interview with Rishi Dastidar

An Interview with Rishi Dastidar

Rishi! Hello! You’re running a new course for us this term, ‘Shape Up and Send’, can you tell us a little bit about that? Rishi: Well, at the moment I’m still plotting what we’ll be up to; but what I really want people to come away with over the five weeks is a) that the…

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The Poet’s Book: an interview with Lavinia Singer and Anna Robinson

An Interview with Lavinia Singer & Anna Robinson

We interviewed Anna Robinson and Lavinia Singer about their new Poetry School course, The Poet’s Book. Hi Anna! Hi Lavinia! How are you? And what are you both up to? Anna: I am well thanks! I teach writing to students at UEL, at Barking library and to prisoners by distance learning, so I have been…

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Retrospective: Looking back on ‘Hide and Seek in the Ideas Forest’ with Sophie Herxheimer

In this retrospective, we’ll be looking back at some of the poems and works of art created by students on Sophie Herxheimer’s recent Poetry School workshop,  ‘Hide and Seek in the Ideas Forest: Poetry and Picture Making’, and having a chat with Sophie herself about the day. First up, the interview…   Hi Sophie. In the workshop,…

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‘Wooden’

I am carving your initials into my chest shedding oak in your name, mahogany heavy. I am beside you with skin like saw dust skin is saw dust. Neck braced with trunk, stiff – like the first time. Burning bark under duvets. For all the times we lay in silence thinking of walks, of holding…

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‘Radio, Radio: Making Poetry Sound’

I listened to The Verb on Radio 3 long before I ever appeared on it, and before I made my first radio documentary. I remember Ken Campbell talking about language, Wendy Cope making poems about going to classical music concerts. It was exciting and inspirational to hear people on the radio talking about poetry, and…

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The Line Break #9 – Ouyang Yu: Creative Mistakes

THE LINE BREAK

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Pub Chats: if p then q

In the latest of our series of feature-length interviews with independent publishers, set in our imaginary poetry theatre pub somewhere in Lambeth, we spoke to James Davies of if p then q… Hello there, James! What are you drinking? James: I’ll have a Death in the Afternoon cheers. How long has if p then q been running? James: Eight good years. What…

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Open Workshop: ‘Make Your Own Filmpoem’

Have you ever thought of turning your poems into a short film or Youtube video? Poetry films – or ‘filmpoems’ – merge two genres to create a new piece of art, and through the hybridisation, augment and extend both genres. In this Open Workshop, Eleni Cay will cover basic techniques for creating poetryfilms, and video…

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Open Workshop: ‘The Poetry of Pain’

As developments in technology increase our access to the world, it can often feel like we are losing touch with the bodies we inhabit, and the remarkable functions they provide from moment to moment. Whilst we often treat pain as an inconvenience to be blanketed over with medication, it can also provide us with a…

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‘New Myths and Legends: Building a World through Poetry’

There are two types of fictional worlds, one that exists within its own sphere and the other – a place we travel to from our own world. For me the second has always been more compelling, the idea that there are layers to our world, a sort of Platonic imprint, inhabited with creatures or heroic…

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Announcing our Summer 2016 Courses!

Short Courses Making Birds: New Poetic Forms with R.A. Villanueva – experiment, invent new forms, and encounter innovative poetry. Shape Up and Send with Rishi Dastidar – Get your poems fighting fit and send them out into the world. The Poet’s Book with Anna Robinson and Lavinia Singer – produce a handmade book containing your…

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The Line Break #8 – Jane Hirshfield: What Comes Through

THE LINE BREAK

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Re-Mixed Borders

Re-Mixed Borders Poet? Lover of flowers and / or vegetables? Want some poet-in-residence training? Read on, we have an opportunity for you! Last year, the Poetry School and London Parks and Gardens Trust teamed up for a poet-in-residence training scheme centred on London’s Gardens. We called the scheme ‘Mixed Borders’. Julia Bird from the Poetry…

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Poetry & Visual Art Gallery Day: Itinerary

Poetry & Visual Art Gallery Day: Itinerary Poets have long drawn inspiration from painters and sculptors; with the rise of a new generation of artists challenging traditional media, can we find in them a source for poems that push boundaries in a similar manner? As part of Tamar Yoseloff’s  Poetry and Visual Art course, students…

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Open Workshop: ‘The Conceit’

Some poetry takes everyday reality as its starting-point in order to reveal something about the world we know. But poetry can equally begin with a ‘what if?’ – it can create unreal or unlikely situations and then, by exploring the consequences of those situations, lead us to unexpected ideas and images. These ‘what if?’ situations…

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How I Translated It: ‘It makes two signs…’ by Krystyna Miłobędzka

Translating is attending to what might happen in language and what might occur between languages. As readers and writers we know this space intimately – the in-betweenness where we can experiment, hesitate, discover, doubt, try again. ‘“Try” – there’s so much faith in it, and so much resignation. But we keep trying. … Only such…

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‘Look Out Tree’

Two ghosts sat in a tree gusting songs and talking, yakking about the moon round as a bullet hole. The sky is soldered black, yet to be opened by dawn, thunk it with clods of earth and know it never will. Everything but those ghosts has stopped. Grass stopped dog stopped tree stopped whole turning…

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How I Translated It: ‘The mask of the angry one’ by Brecht

The translation of poetry, as well as being, famously, impossible, is, for the translator, the most wonderful and most punishing form of close reading. There is no limit to the aspects of the poem at hand to which the translator must desire to be attentive. Form in all its forms, meaning in all its meanings:…

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‘A Blue and Pink Encounter at the Mall’

  COMMENT Jinny Fisher is a psychoanalytic psychotherapist, and was previously a classical violinist. She lives in Somerset and is a member of Juncture 25 and Wells Fountain Poets. She has been been, or is about to be, published in The Interpreter’s House, Under the Radar, Prole and Ink, Sweat and Tears. “I wrote (or…

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The T S Eliot Prize – some deep reading

Tonight sees the announcement of the winner of the T S Eliot Prize, a poetry prize that draws speculation, chatter and discussion towards it like pins to a magnet. Yesterday, John Greening led a brilliant discussion event for us at Southbank Centre, cogently summing up all ten of the shortlisted collections and shepherding some great…

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The Line Break #7 – Mark Doty: Desire

THE LINE BREAK

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Voice Skills for Poets: an interview with Nicola Collett

Hi Nicola, we’re delighted you’ll be offering a one-day workshop in February. Can you tell us a bit about yourself? Nicola: Yes, I started off as an English and Drama teacher, teaching the 11-18 age group, in comprehensive schools in Harlow and London. Eventually, I became fascinated with the way in which a teacher’s voice…

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Gastromancy – speaking from the gut

A lot can happen in five weeks. Just over the last seven days, I swallowed a gold filling, bought a sofa and organised party games for ten shrieking eight year-olds as Hebden’s flood sirens sounded. The centre of town has been underwater this weekend; thankfully, it emerged from the waves unscathed. I know lots of…

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5 moments when poetry and pop music collided for the general benefit of us all!

So, as those of you joining my online listening group next term will discover, I reckon pop songs and other assorted detritus from rock ‘n’ roll culture are a great jumping off point for writing poems. Whether it’s the thump of a tom-tom, feedback whistling round your brain, even the sheen of an ill-advised leather…

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