Poetry School Articles

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 His blog talks of the threat to individual identity under occupation and these previously unpublished poems deal with the war in…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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Writing After David Lynch – Students’ Poem

The Writing After David Lynch ten-week course took us all on a thrilling and mysterious journey across David Lynch’s films. As part of the penultimate session, on Mulholland Drive, I invited the students to respond to Naomi Watts’ staggering audition scene with a single four-line stanza, that I would then order and curate into a group poem.  I took inspiration…

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Spring 2022 – 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 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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Review: ‘Shine, Darling’ by Ella Frears

Reflections on movement and witness haunt Ella Frears’s debut, Shine, Darling. ‘I Knew Which Direction’, the prologue poem that offers a roadmap for our movement through the collection generally, also introduces the book’s metaphorical patron saint: the moon. The poem begins with its speaker on a shore, drawn to that moon ‘tilted toward the sea’…

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The Online Museum Poet: A Job Description

The new Studio+ format is both intense and intensely wonderful: a Zoom sandwich, if you will. Or where Zoom is the bread, and Campus is the jam. It was lovely to virtually ‘meet’ the course members, before we set them tasks on our Campus group, and certainly added to the group’s dynamic. In response to…

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Writing ‘Heart-to-Heart’ About Political Discontent

Between the Covid-19 pandemic, the renewed concerns over racism and inequality, and the deepening of the climate crisis, our collective nerves are stretched to the limit and we are struggling to stay above water. There is no doubt that the global community is doing serious and urgent soul-searching. How can we be of help? As…

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Soundtext Anthology

Soundtext was a course run in the Spring Term of 2020 for the Poetry School. The course sought to push the boundaries of possibility in terms of sound and text. Our hypothesis: what can an artist create when they approach text from the ends of sound, and sound from the ends of text? We have…

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Review: ‘How To Wash A Heart’ by Bhanu Kapil

In How To Wash A Heart, her first UK-published collection, Bhanu Kapil offers a timely and intimate exploration of hospitality, expressed through the story of a fictional relationship between an immigrant guest and a citizen host. Wrapped up in this story are other stories: of the artist trying to create, the body’s inescapably visceral condition,…

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Smears & Caresses: The Poetry of Abstract Art

How can abstract art help poets? It makes us look and it makes us think, and it makes us think about our thoughts. It helps to steer us away from pre-existing categories. We cannot glance at it and then say ‘Nice goat’, or ‘Evocative seascape’, or ‘What a lovely cottage!’. Instead, we interact with the…

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Autumn 2020 – Quick Course Guide

The leaves are green and the sun is still shining, but we’re already looking forward to the Autumn Term here at the Poetry School! 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…

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Voices of the Sea

People – and especially poets – have always been fascinated by the sea. We see it as a powerful metaphor for strong emotion or for the unconscious. We are drawn by its power, its changing moods, its promise of adventure. There are many ways in which we look at the sea. And those are the…

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‘Come to Where I’m From’

‘Come to where I’m from.’ So writes Glyn Maxwell in his masterpiece of place, ‘Birthplace’, from his 2013 collection Pluto. The great energy of the poem, its enormous historic sweep, is a great advertisement for what place can do for a poem – or for what this poet can do for any subject at all….

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MA in Writing Poetry Scholarship 2020 Now Open For Entries

We’re delighted to announce that, for the second year running, Newcastle University is offering a scholarship award worth £7,800 (full fees) for an outstanding applicant to the Poetry School / Newcastle MA in Writing Poetry for 2020/21 entry. The Scholarship will be awarded on a competitive basis to applicants who have already accepted an offer of a place for…

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Writing the Self: Performance & Sacrifice with Nisha Ramayya

In Indo-European Poetry and Myth, philologist M. L. West traces links between poets and priests in the Indo-European language family, from Old Irish, Welsh, and German, to Greek, Avestan, and Sanskrit. He begins with a simple thesis statement: ‘all peoples at all times have had poetry and song.’ Understanding poetry and poetic language as language…

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Digital Poet in Residence Opportunity

We’re pretty hot on the digital poetry residency at the Poetry School – CAMPUS has played host to nearly a dozen poets now, each of them bringing their own distinct take to what a writer with all the resources of the internet at the end of a mouse can do for an audience. We are…

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