Summer Articles

Fortnightly Feedback with Leah Umansky

It’s always a good idea to get another set of eyes on something.  Sometimes, we need new ways to look at the world. The ordinary is often extraordinary; the extraordinary is sometimes ordinary. This is nothing new.  The same is true for the world of a poem and a poem is really just its 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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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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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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Sources of Poetic Language

Imagination, Wonder, and the Everyday The mourning doves are beginning to coo again and yesterday I saw the families of cardinals in the yew, all busy setting up. The past few days were very windy, and we found a fallen nest, the size of a basketball, along the street. It feels as if I am…

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A Slice of Butterworth-Toast: Writing Poems for Children

I think I could spot a Charles Causley children’s poem a mile away, in the dark. All of them bear a unique fingerprint of magic, music, and respect for the reader’s wish to be entertained – but it’s also true that no two Causley poems are alike. Flip through his Collected Poems for Children and…

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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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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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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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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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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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Mixed Borders: Who’s Where

Open Gardens Squares Weekend is just around the corner! On Saturday 13 and Sunday 14 June, you can explore over 200 private, secret and tucked away gardens across London. Our Mixed Borders Poets have taken up residence in 16 of the Open Gardens dotted across London. They’ve been visiting their gardens for the last month…

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Call and Response: an Interview with Rishi Dastidar

An Interview with Rishi Dastidar

As part of our festival themed Summer School this July, poet Rishi Dastidar will be running ‘Call and Response’, a workshop based around writing poetry from music. We caught up with Rishi to find out more … Hi Rishi! Tell us a bit more about your Summer School workshop, Call and Response – what do…

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Festival Season: A Glimpse at our Summer School

Our Summer School is designed so that students can fit in one last blast of poetry writing before the holidays: for a whole week in July, we’ll be running a series of workshops, some for a full day, some for the morning or the afternoon, so that you can fit them in around your packing…

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Keep On: an Interview with Clare Shaw

An Interview with Clare Shaw

Starting on Thursday 11 June in Manchester, ‘Keep On’ will help poets at any level who are in need of a little fuel and maintenance to keep writing. We had a chat with tutor Clare Shaw about the upcoming course, and her thoughts on what to do when the poems aren’t coming … Hi Clare!…

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Epiphanies and Other Movable Feasts: an Interview with Nichola Deane

An Interview with Nichola Deane

Part of our festival themed Summer School this July, Nichola Deane’s workshop Epiphanies and Other Movable Feasts will look at the ‘architecture of moments’ that make up our lives. We caught up with Nichola to find out more about what she has planned… Hi Nichola, tell us more about your workshop…what’s it all about? ND:…

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Poetry School One Day Workshops

…Booked your holiday yet? If your summer’s filling up and you can’t quite wangle a ten week course into your schedule, a one day workshop or evening class might fit the bill: for a short burst of poetry writing before you jet away, here are a few details of what’s on offer … Crossing the…

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The Tao of Poetry

Starting on Monday, 4 May, Liane Strauss will be running ‘The Tao of Poetry: An Introduction to the Great Poets of the T’ang and Sung Dynasties’, providing an in-depth study of the great flowering of Classical Chinese poetry and all that contributes to making it feel so contemporary.  Here, Liane put together a few words…

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Chemical Poetry: an interview with Simon Barraclough

An Interview with Simon Barraclough

‘Chemical Poetry: The Periodic Table & Poetry‘ will use the famous periodic table of elements as a springboard and playground for new writing. Fizz, explode, react and toxicate: we spoke to Simon Barraclough about what happens when poetry and chemistry meet. Hi Simon! What’s ‘Philandrium’? SB: Philandrium is a brand new element discovered and analysed…

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Mixed Borders Poetry Residencies: an interview with Sarah Hesketh

An Interview with Sarah Hesketh

‘Mixed Borders: Poets in Residence in London Gardens‘, a Poetry School Summer workshop with London Parks and Gardens Trust, will see poets paired up with allotments, garden squares and hidden spaces to propagate their own green and leafy poetry ideas. We had a chat with Sarah Hesketh, poet and Event Manager for London Open Garden…

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Playing with History: an interview with Kelley Swain

An Interview with Kelley Swain

Hi Kelley! Could you tell us about your Summer School workshop, ‘Playing with History: Using the Past in Poetry’ – what can we expect? Kelley: “Playing with History” is going to be a full-day workshop, starting at 10:30 and running until 4:30 in the afternoon, with a lunch break. I’m going to start by talking…

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A budding ‘pomance’: an interview with Jacqueline Saphra

An Interview with Jacqueline Saphra

Jacqueline Saphra, one of The Poetry School’s new tutors, talks to us about her new course, ‘Training the Poem’ and takes us through some of her work and methods.

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House and Universe: an interview with Rebecca Goss

An Interview with Rebecca Goss

Hi Rebecca, you’re teaching a new course with us this Summer, ‘House and Universe: The Poetry of Home and Domestic Objects’. Tell us a bit about the course – what can we expect? Rebecca: This course will be an opportunity to explore the spaces and objects that define ‘home’, and consider what does ‘home’ mean?…

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