Poetry School Articles

Review – Morning Lit: Portals After Alia by Omar Sabbagh

Omar Sabbagh’s Morning Lit: Portals After Alia offers us an extended meditation on early fatherhood, exploring what the poet describes as the ‘transformative distance’ travelled across the ‘entries’ of a relationship with his newborn daughter. Often lyrical, the poems here are also often very down-to-earth, giving us the reality of the early months of fatherhood…

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Stanzas for Ukraine – 13

After the Amstor[1] by Alisa Havrylchenko, translated from the Ukrainian by Stephen Komarnyckyj. There will be no war, the two nuclear powers will only pressure each other. That’s what everyone I knew thought right Until February 24. I was preparing for the presentation of my new book, even though the news that airlines were stopping…

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Spring 2023 – Quick Course Guide

Our Spring Term is now live and we’ve got a whole host of brilliant tutors and courses lined up, so be sure to book promptly to avoid disappointment. Below is our handy Quick Course Guide, where you’ll find everything you’ll need to know. Online Courses INTERACTIVEOur classic ten-week online courses with Live Chats. ‘Blank Page…

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The Proust Questionnaire

TAMAR YOSELOFF Bio: A transplanted Londoner, poet, lecturer, urban walker, frustrated non-painter and practicer of tsundoku What do you consider your greatest achievement? I’m still working on it. What is your idea of perfect happiness? It isn’t so much an idea as a state – sometimes elements come together – place, weather, company – but…

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Review – Wilder by Jemma Borg

Searching for Wild Connections ‘Poems are records of true risks […] taken by the soul of the speaker,’ writes Jorie Graham[1], but what if a poem speaks with a voice that is not always human, plant or animal, but something broader and wider in scope. How do we recognise that soul? What are the connections…

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Stanzas for Ukraine – 12

When Spring is Stolen by Varel Lozovyi, translated from the Ukrainian by Stephen Komarnyckyj When spring is stolen from you right on its threshold.When you are waiting for her[1], like a bride, like a long-awaited release from prison, like God’s salvation from the clutches of cold, dank grey winter.And they steal it from you suddenly,…

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Stanzas for Ukraine – 11

THE LONG DECOLONIZATION; how, despite the destruction, Ukraine is moving towards the future by Anatoliy Dnistrovyi, translated from the Ukrainian and annotated by Stephen Komarnyckyj THE LONG DECOLONIZATIONhow, despite the destruction, Ukraine is moving towards the future There are three eras in recent Ukrainian history when culture and society have flourished significantly: the twenties and…

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Stanzas for Ukraine – 10

The Language of Poetry and Losses by Oksana Kutsenko. Translated from the Ukrainian by Stephen Komarnyckyj During wartime the language that people use changes, you can’t argue with that, it’s self-evident. However, turning page after page of the Ukrainian calendar, beginning from February 24, 2022, many details are revealed that are important for the Word…

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Stanzas for Ukraine – 9

It Was As If There Was No Life And No Poetry Before 24 February 2022 by Andrii Kovalenko, Ukrainian poet, novelist, journalist (Kyiv). Translated from the Ukrainian by Stephen Komarnyckyj Six months since the beginning of Moscow’s aggression against Ukraine and our latest war of liberation, life is divided into what came before and after….

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Review – As She Appears by Shelley Wong, Garden Physic by Sylvia Legris 

Shelley Wong’s debut, As She Appears, is a deeply self-aware, courageous, and lyrical collection that weaves together history, humour, and ecological metaphor to explore Wong’s experiences as a queer fourth-generation Chinese American. The tone is conversational but not plain, and the collection’s strength lies not in any attempt on Wong’s part to deploy complex forms…

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Review – Manorism by Yomi Ṣode and Refractive Africa by Will Alexander

Dazzling Refractions of Light and Dark Art historian Andrew Graham-Dixon writes in his biography of Caravaggio: ‘He had always been an outsider, a troublemaker, a difficult and dangerous man. Yet his art was so compelling, so original, so unforgettable, that people were simply transfixed by it… The fact that he was obliged to invent himself…

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INSPIRATION TO INVOICING

A CPD series for professional & aspiring poets Becoming a freelance poet – whether full- or part-time, alongside employed work – requires a range of business and practical skills, not to mention the actual practice of writing and publishing. These sessions aim to creatively and reflectively unpack these skills, inviting participants to consider their own…

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Stanzas for Ukraine – 8

A World That Is Still Watching… by Anna Malihon. Translated from the Ukrainian by Stephen Komarnyckyj ‘Everything will start from a small country, from one that no one would have thought of’ she said ‘there will be great changes in the world, at a high price, along with blood and death. However, it will be…

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Stanzas for Ukraine – 7

The Poet’s Nose by Serhii Rybnytskyi, translated from the Ukrainian by Stephen Komarnyckyj With what part of the body can I reflect on matters as a poet? My nose, which for me it is practically an ‘Achilles Heel’. Any blow can knock me down, the slightest cold or drop in blood pressure clogs my nostrils….

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Poet as Archaeologist Studio Blog

This autumn, I’m thinking about what poets can learn from archaeologists and their discoveries. Poet as Archaeologist Studio will be a chance to generate new work, read and discuss poems and get feedback on your drafts. It will also be an opportunity to consider how a different discipline might inform our writing. I spent my…

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Autumn 2022 – Quick Course Guide

Our Autumn Term is now live and we’ve got a whole host of brilliant tutors and courses lined up, so be sure to book promptly to avoid disappointment. Below is our handy Quick Guide, where you’ll find everything you’ll need to know about our upcoming courses. Online INTERACTIVE COURSES:Our classic ten-week online courses with Live…

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Stanzas for Ukraine – 4

Stanzas for Ukraine – The Invasion of the Ukrainian Language [ Author: Lyuba Yakimchuk, translated from the Ukrainian by Stephen Komarnyckyj] The war calls into question everything on which our survival depends and provokes a crisis in our vision of humanity. During Russia’s large scale war against Ukraine only the apathetic wouldn’t quote Theodor AThe…

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Stanzas for Ukraine – 3

Our third blog in the Stanzas for Ukraine project is by the Ukrainian writer Oleh Shynkarenko, who is known for his experimental fiction. However, Russia’s invasion of his homeland spurred him to write poetry. His blog talks of the threat to individual identity under occupation and these previously unpublished poems deal with the war in…

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Stanzas for Ukraine – 2

Our second blog in the Stanzas for Ukraine project is written by the Crimean-Ukrainian poet Vyacheslav Huk, who now lives in Kyiv. He spent most of his childhood hidden from the Soviet authorities on his grandmother’s farm after reading a protest poem in class. In this week’s piece, he explains why this makes Putin’s attempt…

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Stanzas for Ukraine (First Post)

Poetry School is proud to have partnered with tutors Steve Komarnyckyj and Elżbieta Wójcik-Leese, and PEN International’s Judyth Hill to publish Stanzas for Ukraine. Every fortnight we will publish a blog written by some of the most significant contemporary Ukrainian poets, who will reflect upon the more than 300 years of historical conflict their country has…

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Snapshot on: Becky Varley-Winter’s Live Wires: Starting to Write

Our Beginner’s course ‘Live Wires: Starting to Write’ with Becky Varley-Winter recently completed another term and Becky has put together a zine to showcase the students’ best work, which you can see extracts of below. The next iteration of this course will take place in our Summer 2022 Term (running 12 May – 14 July)….

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Taking the Piss Flower: on the pitfalls of writing poems inspired by art, and bringing something new to the party

Ekphrasis is one of those poemy words poets assume everyone knows, like villanelle, and pantoum; but my Mac doesn’t recognise it, flags it up, and takes me to Wiki – ‘an ekphrastic poem is a poem inspired or stimulated by a work of art’. I remember feeling so happy when I first discovered the word,…

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Glyn Maxwell in Conversation with Linda Gregerson

Glyn Maxwell & Linda Gregerson in conversation – Expect musings on theatre and poetry, new readings, laughter, anecdotes, & insight. Wednesday 13 April at 7 pm BST. Sign up here. This is the second of our ‘In Conversation’ series with Glyn Maxwell which launched with UK Poet Laureate Simon Armitage on 8 February. Glyn continues…

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The Zen of Ecopoetics: the contribution of Zen to modernist American poetry

In Breathing: Chaos and Poetry, the Italian philosopher Franco Berardi suggests that poetry is the excess of semiotic exchange that goes beyond the limits of language and, by extension, transcends the limits of reality as we know it. In this sense, poetry offers us a way of rethinking our relationship with non-human beings and environments,…

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Announcing the Poetry School MA in Writing Poetry Scholarship 2022

We’re delighted to announce the Poetry School MA in Writing Poetry Scholarship 2022 for an underrepresented poet. For a second year, Poetry School is offering a full fees scholarship award (£10,000) to the Poetry School / Newcastle University MA in Writing Poetry for an outstanding applicant who is currently underrepresented in the poetry world. By underrepresented poets, we…

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