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Poetry School / Poetry in Aldeburgh Paid Residency Opportunity!

Get your buckets and spades, bikinis and biros ready – here’s news of a paid poetry residency by the beach!

The Poetry School and Poetry in Aldeburgh have a joint offer to make: an opportunity for a festival-focused poet in residence.

While the Aldeburgh Poetry Festival organised by The Poetry Trust has a breather and an organisational regroup during 2016, Poetry in Aldeburgh is making sure that there are events to take place during the usual festival weekend of 4-6 November.

Poetry in Aldeburgh is a collaborative initiative, with poets and poetry groups providing readings, workshops and more.

Like any good residency, our joint offer will combine some writing time for the selected poet with the tasks and reflections necessary to illuminate the festival for its actual and virtual visitors. Our Poet in Residence (PiR) will attend the Poetry in Aldeburgh Festival in Suffolk, and will also undertake preparation and follow-up work before and after the Festival. November might be a little parky for bikinis, but all the other details stand. Read on for more information and the application process.

These Are Our Residency Goals …

  • To illuminate and explore the programme and experience of the Poetry in Aldeburgh festival for the benefit of Festival goers and those who follow its events digitally
  • To reflect on the experience of being a poet in residence in order that other members of the Poetry School community might be inspired to seek similar opportunities in the future
  • To provide a poet with time and space to create new poems

During October 2016 – the period leading up to the Festival – the PiR will populate CAMPUS (the Poetry School’s social network) with posts, which will increase in frequency as the Festival takes place in the first weekend of November.

CAMPUS Activities

There will be some degree of flexibility about the type of activities that the PiR undertakes, dependent on the skills and interests of the successful candidate. Exact scheduling of the specific types of posts required will be discussed in advance, but the sorts of posts we will be looking for include …

  • A biography with images and links of the PiR
  • An interview with the Poetry School to introduce the PiR’s work
  • Features about the poets appearing and the events taking place at the Festival
  • Reviews of Festival events and experiences
  • Interviews with Festival poets and visitors
  • Poetry writing prompts related to Festival events
  • New poems inspired by the Aldeburgh experience

CAMPUS accepts text, images, video and audio. The Poetry School and Poetry in Aldeburgh have Facebook and Twitter accounts, and the Poetry School also has Soundcloud, Tumblr and Instagram accounts. Ideas for creative engagement on all platforms will be welcome.

Who We Are Looking For

  • A poet writing at an advanced level (which the Poetry School defines as a person ‘confident about what you want to say and how you want to say it … on your way to a pamphlet or a first collection’). You do not need to have already published a pamphlet or collection.
  • A poet capable of writing pithy, engaging prose reviews and articles with short lead times.
  • Experience of engaging readerships and audiences online.
  • A confident user of online technology and familiar with (or unfazed by) the back end of WordPress sites.
  • The PiR will need to provide his / her own smartphone, tablet or laptop during the Festival, and be proactive at seeking out wifi and network connectivity which can be patchy in the area.

How To Apply

In no more than 500 words please outline why you are interested in the opportunity, and how you would approach it.

  • Include links to relevant work – poetry and prose
  • Attach a current CV
  • Apply via email to Julia Bird, Creative Director of the Poetry School – [email protected]
  • Title your email ‘Aldeburgh Residency Application [your name]’


  • Applications must be submitted by midnight on Thursday 30 June 2016
  • Shortlisting will be carried out by Julia Bird of the Poetry School and Daphne Astor of Poetry in Aldeburgh
  • Poets will be notified by 15 July about whether they are shortlisted or not
  • Interviews will be conducted via Skype / phone during the week beginning 18 July
  • Appointment of selected poet will take place by 22 July.
  • The list of tasks to be carried out (devised by the PiR, PS and PiA) will be finalised by the end of August.
  • The residency will take place online from early October to mid December 2016, with attendance in person at the Poetry in Aldeburgh Festival from 4-6 November.
  • The deadline for submission of the new poems that the PiR creates during the residency is 9 December 2016.

Terms and Conditions

  • The fee for the residency is £1,000 inclusive of VAT if applicable, travel expenses and food.
  • Twin room accommodation is available in the Poetry School’s shared house during the Festival. (There is also a more accessible ground floor bedroom if required, but it’s a single room.) If the PiR wishes to bring a friend or partner to share the twin room, this can be arranged, although the second person will need to contribute to the rental costs of the house. If the PiR wishes to make alternative accommodation arrangements in Aldeburgh, this is also an option, although there will be no additional financial help available for accommodation costs.
  • All posts and poems written by the selected poet will be made available for sharing worldwide and in perpetuity with no restrictions. Copyright of the new poems remains with the poet.
  • After the conclusion of the residency, the selected poet is free to publish the poems created as part of the residency, but Poetry in Aldeburgh and the Poetry School must be acknowledged with an agreed credit line.

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