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‘The Woods are Lovely, Dark and Deep: Articulating Death’

It cannot be expressed with words and it cannot be expressed without words. Wumen Huikai   It is not true that death begins after life. When life stops death also stops. Gösta Ågren translated from the Finland Swedish by David McDuff   I’ve found that poems ‘about death’ tend to actually be about life: about…

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‘Epithalamium in Twenty Six Creatures’

The air holds highways, paths; perches firm as knowledge. Like nouns are held by verbs: windhover, hawk. The doing is the thing. A slink, a splash, a slick gleam of dark: splitting the river’s glass together, wearing the water’s name. Dog mother, dog father, chasing sun over the blue-blind snow, loping home to winter. Small…

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‘Elegy for Retired Crayola® Colours’

I unroll a teal-blue sky to draw the day on its awning. With nubs of wax I shape chimeras in clouds of lemon yellow and magic mint. I layer raw umber over blizzard blue, match mulberry to orange-red. I peel the paper casing from the black crayon to seal the techni-coloured page with night. I’ve…

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We’re all Doomed: Poetry and the Apocalypse

Can you remember your first apocalypse? Mine was when I was 16 and it took the form of a computer bug that was going to short the electrical supply, mess up everyone’s computer and make aeroplanes fall out of the sky. These predictions tore my attention in half  – at school I was being told…

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How I Did It: ‘Crocodile’

As a child I loved the London Natural History Museum. One free afternoon in the summer of 2010, I went back nostalgically with my husband only to regret the heat and school holiday hordes. I found myself lingering in front of a case that contained rounded stones in a range of sizes, quills lacking feathers,…

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‘The Yeti’

I met the Yeti in Tibet. In the Lhakpa La, by the Rongbuk glacier, northeast of Everest, we met. I: [the ice in my eyes] … Dad? And, he: [doing seemingly nothing but shuffling around in the snow] He was, I knew, founded on grains of truth. Host to his parasites, scalp to hallux, hair…

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How I Did It: ‘the Interrupters’

the Interrupters no two can meet the way we have met WS Graham a foyet like the day of the dead for it is full with missing children this is how violence starts, first the perception of a slight of an insult within the context of a culture that has taught the imperative that you…

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How I Did It: ‘The Ballad of the Small-Boned Daughter’

Shafilea Ahmed died in September 2003 aged 17. She was a British Pakistani girl from Warrington, Cheshire. She was a beautiful and spirited girl who was murdered in a so called ‘honour killing’ by her parents. Like so many others I watched the long gruesome trial in 2012 when her parents were finally convicted of…

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Autumn 2015: New Courses and Workshops

Here’s a quick look at what’s on offer for our Autumn Term (beginning 14 September 2015). To find out about a particular course or tutor, follow the title links or call us to enquire on 0207 582 1679. If you’d like to print out a copy of our brochure to look through at home, you can…

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MA in Writing Poetry – now open for applications

We are delighted to announce that our MA in Writing Poetry in collaboration with Newcastle University is now open for applications. The two year course starts in September 2015, and you can study in one of two centres: the Poetry School’s Lambeth Walk classrooms in London, or at Newcastle University itself. Both groups of students…

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How I Did It: ‘Mort-Dieu’

It’s tempting to look at the title poem of An Aviary of Small Birds, as it not only expresses a literary influence (in particular, the poem references a mythical bird the Octobrine as coined by Pablo Neruda) but also encapsulates the high note I was reaching for, as a lyric and an elegy. However, the…

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The Line Break Ep #2 – Kwame Dawes: This Is Our Heart

THE LINE BREAK EPISODE

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An announcement from our Director

After six years as Director of the Poetry School, I will be stepping down from the role this summer. The Poetry School’s Board of Trustees will lead the search for a new Director with details of the recruitment process to be announced shortly. Although my time as Director will officially end in mid-August I will…

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Primers: Guide Your Poems Into Print

Primers: guide your poems into print with the Poetry School and Nine Arches Press The Poetry School and Nine Arches Press  are delighted to announce the arrival of Primers, a new annual scheme creating a unique opportunity for talented poets to find publication and receive a programme of supportive feedback, mentoring and promotion. The scheme…

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CAMPUS Debate: Poetry and Music in Performance

Poetry and music: a natural pairing? On instinct, yes! of course! why who hasn’t extolled a thumping good poem for its ‘musicality’, or raved about the ‘pure poetry’ of a great song? If you go back far enough to when nearly all verse was accompanied by flute and lyre, it’s hard to say whether poetry…

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A Long Drink for a Hot Day: an Interview with Holly Hopkins

An Interview with Holly Hopkins

As the Summer days draw out, and the festivals, parties, barbeques and celebrations continue, Holly Hopkins will be inviting students to look at some of the best booze-inspired poetry – and to create some of their own – on her Summer School workshop ‘A Long Drink for a Hot Day’ . We caught up with…

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Pub Chat: Test Centre

An Interview with Test Centre

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 Jess Chandler of Test Centre… Hello there, Jess! What are you drinking? Jess: Gin & tonic! How long has Test Centre been running? Jess: Test Centre began as a project in 2011, and…

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‘Dare You Blow it Out’

Slugs ease in round half eleven. Double, teeth on her graphite tourniquet, looms up the wall. Ceiling’s Brownian mandala. Candle, eating its amygdala, gives a masonic wink to Minton glaze on the mantel, vase and jug, that aluminium lamp, as an artist would bring them to life I expect.   COMMENT “I imagine tutor Tom…

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CAMPUS Pamphlet: ‘The Blueprint – New North Poets 2015’

This is very exciting, this is. Over the last couple of years the Poetry School have been working with New Writing North on a writing and mentoring programme with the five recipients of New Poets Bursaries at the 2013 Northern Writers’ Awards. The bursaries were awarded to emerging poets to help develop their first collections…

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Surprised by Joy: an Interview with Dai George

An Interview with Dai George

In his Summer School workshop ‘Surprised by Joy’ this term, Dai George will be exploring the challenges and possibilities of writing from feelings of happiness, wonder and joy. We had a chat to find out more  … Hello Dai – tell us about your Summer workshop. What do you have planned? It’s called ‘Surprised by…

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Pub Chat: Rack Press

An Interview with Rack Press

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 Nicholas Murray of Rack Press… Hello there, Nick! What are you drinking? Nick: A glass of Ralph’s Cider made by my neighbour Ralph Owen who claims to be one of the few Welsh…

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CAMPUS Pamphlets: ‘BLOOMSOUND’

‘Would you like another flicky book?’ Yes I said yes. Here you are then, this latest CAMPUS Pamphlet published on Bloomsday, the date that James Joyce’s Ulysses take place. Last year, Chris McCabe ran a 3 term course for us, spending the Autumn reading Ulysses, the Spring writing new poems in response and the Summer…

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Celebrate Your History: an Interview with Nick Field

An Interview with Nick Field

How can poetry express the joys, sensations and narratives of shared celebrations? In his new Summer School workshop ‘Celebrate Your History’, artist and writer Nick Field will be working with students to use autobiography to create powerful, joyful poems. We caught up with Nick to find out more… Hi Nick! Tell us a bit about…

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Pub Chat: HappenStance Press

An Interview with HappenStance Press

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 Helena Nelson of HappenStance Press.. Hello there, Helena! What are you drinking? Helena: Glass of Sauvignon Blanc, thank you (if you happen to have any Cloudy Bay, that would be perfect). How long…

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A Festival of Opposing Forces: Interview with R A Villanueva

An Interview with R A Villanueva

R A Villanueva’s upcoming Summer workshop, ‘A Festival of Opposing Forces’, will be a celebration of unlike things, thinking about poems as spaces to memorialize, illuminate, and make new. We caught up with the poet and asked him a few questions about what the day will have in store… Tell us more about your Summer…

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