W elco m e

The Spring Term is the term of new year’s
Poetry courses and workshops
throughout the country and online
Of course, we’re here all year round for long term
courses, shorter classes and one off workshops… but
if your specific January plans involve making more
time for poetry, we can certainly help you right now.
Pick from Roddy Lumsden’s course inspired by The
Tempest, John Greening’s canon-mining course,
or a surgical session dedicated to readying your
first collection for publication. In Manchester, we’re
working with Clare Shaw again, and in Bristol, we
welcome Patrick Brandon to the programme.
Our online programme continues to expand.
We’ve got courses on the poetry of the sea, a
dream poetry exploration and a reading course
with A B Jackson to complement Roddy’s faceto-face Tempest course. The free activities on
CAMPUS are also flourishing – join a group to
swap notes on your current poetry reading, share
news of your own readings and publications
or engage with the work of our digital poets in
residence. If you’ve not yet signed up to CAMPUS
– our bespoke social network for poets - find out
how it all works at www.campus.poetryschool.
com. Whether you’re joining us for the first time
or as a returning student, if you’re with us in
the classroom or online, the Poetry School is
dedicated to helping your poems improve and
your poetic friendships develop. Happy New Year!
Ollie Dawson, Director
Ollie Dawson, Director –
[email protected]
Julia Bird, Head of Programmes –
[email protected]
Will Barrett, Digital Programme Producer –
[email protected]
Jo Brandon, Course and Facilities Coordinator –
[email protected]
Maryam Tavakoli, Finance Officer –
[email protected]
Please email Jo if you have queries about
Join us on Facebook at ‘The Poetry School’
Follow us on Twitter @poetryschool
Sign up to our mailing list at
Register for our online poetry community
Campus at www.campus.poetryschool.com
The Charit y
The Poetry School classrooms in London are on
the ground floor and accessible to wheelchair
users, and we have an induction hearing loop
system. Most other venues are accessible to
wheelchair users, please contact us to check or visit
our website. If you would like digital versions of
handouts from courses and workshops, please let
us know when you book, and we will do our best to
arrange this for you.
The Poetry School’s charitable aim is to nurture
new poetic voices through our programme of
teaching and projects, and we are very grateful
for all charitable support. Small donations from
individuals contributed nearly £3,000 to our
grants scheme last year, and larger sums from
charitable foundations enabled us to subsidise
our concessionary rate prices. Please see overleaf
for donation details.
The Poetry School is a registered company,
number 3434849 and a charity, number 1069314.
We are proud to be one of Arts Council England’s
National Portfolio Organisations.
The Poetry School
81 Lambeth Walk, London SE11 6DX
Tel: 0207 582 1679
Website: www.poetryschool.com
About the Poe try School
The Poetry School was founded in 1997 by poets
Jane Duran, Mimi Khalvati and Pascale Petit. Since
our earliest years, our courses and activities have
encouraged poets and poetry to flourish, and we count
many successful publishing and performing writers
amongst our past and current students. Students,
tutors and staff are all at different stages with their
poetry. We have a wide variety of skills and interests,
but all of us share a desire to improve our skills,
expand our horizons and develop an audience for our
work within a community of poets.
and some courses will include tasks for you to work
on at home. Some activities aim to pass on knowledge
in a very structured way, some are designed to be
sessions in which the creatively unexpected occurs. If
you have a preference for a particular style of activity,
contact the office to discuss the options. Many of our
course groups create blogs or publications together, or
head off for a drink after a session – students can be as
solitary or social as they like!
Most of our courses and workshops accommodate
writers with a wide range of experience, but some
are specifically designed for beginners or more
practised poets.
Our Tutors
Here are our definitions –
Some of our tutors are T S Eliot Prize winners, some
have just published their first pamphlets, all are
practising poets. We delight in their writing, are
inspired by their teaching skills and welcome the
introduction of their ideas to our students. We are
also interested in developing poets’ teaching skills,
so if you’d like to teach for us, email [email protected]
poetryschool.com to start a conversation.
Beginner – someone who is in love with words, and
wants to start arranging the best of them into the best
order. You may have written a few poems already,
and you’ll have an idea about who your favourite
writers are.
What to Expect
Poetry School activities are friendly and relatively
informal, with between 6 and 16 students in a group.
In a teaching session, you might be given Exercises
(specific writing tasks to inspire your own poems or
ideas) or Feedback (comments on your work by tutors
and / or other students); you might be Reading (close
attention to published poems, looking for examples
of technique, style, theme or form), Writing (working
towards creating new poems throughout the duration of
the course or workshop) or a combination of all these,
Intermediate – have you been writing for a few
years or more, and are you ready to submit poems
to magazines and competitions, or perform them at
readings? Perhaps you do so already.
Advanced – are you on your way to a large portfolio
of your own writing, and becoming confident about
what you want to say and how you want to say it? Are
you thinking about a pamphlet, or a first collection, or
headline spots at poetry readings?
If you’re a beginner writer who likes to be stretched,
or an advanced writer who’d like a refresher course,
we can usually find a course to accommodate you.
Booking is now open. The Poetry School is a
small charitable arts organisation running on
tight financial margins. We’d be very grateful
if you could book by 12 January, it helps us
plan effectively - thank you!
•If you are booking courses and workshops
with us for the first time, all prices are 15% off
(phone bookings only).
•No discounts on seminars, tutorials or
Travelling Workshops.
The quickest, easiest and cheapest way to book
is online at www.poetryschool.com – search
•If you cancel your booking more than four
weeks before the start date, we will refund you.
•If you cancel your booking less than four
weeks before the start date, we will refund you
if we can fill your place from a waiting list.
•There are no refunds available for talks and
readings, and any requests for seminar and
tutorial refunds will be discussed on an
individual basis.
•Any deposits you have made for activities that
you cancel less than four weeks before the
start date are unrefundable.
Each Poetry School activity has three prices
listed. The first is the standard price, the
second is the price for over 60s, and the third
is our concessionary rate. Concessions are
currently available for…
•25s and under
•full time students
•those who receive Job Seekers Allowance,
•those whose sole source of income is the state
Income Support, Working Tax Credit, Pension
Credit, Universal Credit or Income Related
Employment and Support Allowance
retirement pension
BUR S A RY an d Pay m e n t P l ans
If you aren’t eligible for the concessionary rate but
can’t afford the full cost of taking part in Poetry
School activities, we invite you to apply for a
bursary to cover up to 75% of activity costs. The
maximum you can apply for is £300 in any given
year, though in exceptional circumstances we may
be able to offer more. Priority is given to people who
have not received financial support from us before.
For more information and to apply for a bursary,
visit the Bursary section on our website. The
deadline for applications for this term’s bursaries
is Monday 5 January. The Poetry School bursary
scheme is supported by the generosity of students
and other donors, for which we are very grateful.
•If we cancel a course, workshop, talk or
reading, we will refund you in full.
•Please be aware that we cannot refund any
travel costs you may have incurred.
All details are correct at time of writing, and
we will inform students of any changes to the
advertised programme as necessary. Poetry
courses and workshops are dynamic activities,
and advertised content may occasionally be
adapted to take account of students’ needs.
the list of activities by course name, tutor or
keyword, and pay with a debit or credit card
through our secure payment system.
You can also call the office on 0207 582 1679
to pay with a debit or credit card. To pay by
post, please send a cheque made out to the
Poetry School and include exact details of the
course or workshop you would like to book,
together with your name, address, email
address and phone number.
PLEASE NOTE: each course or workshop needs
a certain number of students in order to run. We
make the decision about whether we are going
to run each activity two weeks before it starts or
happens, so if you are intending to book, please
make sure you do so in plenty of time.
Partners & Funders
Thank you to our funders
The Poetry School gratefully
acknowledges the support
of Arts Council England.
The Poetry School would like
to thank the Paul Hamlyn
Foundation for the generous
support of CAMPUS.
Thank you to everyone who has donated to our grant
scheme when making a phone or online booking.
Lots of tiny donations make a real difference, and
we’re very grateful.
If you want to play a part in developing the poets and
poetry audiences of the future, there are several ways
you can support our charitable work as an individual;
from donations to student sponsorship and legacy
giving. Please contact Ollie Dawson ([email protected]
poetryschool.com) to discuss donor opportunities.
Programme partners
This term’s partners are Malika’s Kitchen.
We can also arrange payment plans for those
who would like to pay in instalments.
ow to find us - most of our London courses
take place in our own classrooms either side
of 81 Lambeth Walk. Our nearest tube stations
are Waterloo and Lambeth North. For details
of relevant bus routes, visit the Transport for
London website www.tfl.gov.uk
Car Parking – there is very limited pay &
display parking in Lambeth Walk.
Food and Drink – there are plenty of cafés and
sandwich shops near Lambeth Walk – you’re
welcome to bring food back to eat in the
classrooms before a session starts or during a
lunch break. Tea and coffee are freely available
on the house (donations welcome).
Which is the course for you?
These 3 term courses started in the Autumn
term, and Autumn term students have priority for
subsequent terms, but occasionally places become
available. Contact the office for details. All our 3 term
courses have some common ground, but they vary in
content, level and approach. Jacqueline and Karen’s
courses are for intermediate writers. Form and Music
is for advanced writers who already have a strong
grasp of traditional forms and technique. Pascale’s
and Mimi’s courses are for advanced writers looking
for feedback on their poems.
Advanced Poetry Workshop
Tutor: Mimi Khalvati
Venue: The Poetry School
Day / Time: Mondays, 4 – 6pm, 7 – 9pm
(two separate classes)
Duration: 2 x 10 weeks
Start Date: 26 January
Price: £163, £155, £130 per term
Level: advanced
CAMPUS group: ‘Advanced Poetry Workshop 2014 /15’
For more experienced writers, these courses offers
in-depth focus on your poems in progress and the
overall direction and development of your work. The
redrafting and re-envisioning process is highlighted,
as is the honing of critical skills. Published poems
also provide a stimulus for writing and discussion.
To book: contact the office for details.
Form & Music
Tutor: Roddy Lumsden
Venue: The Poetry School
Day / Time: Mondays, 6.45 – 8.45pm
Duration: 2 x 10 weeks
Start Date: 26 January
Price: £163, £155, £130 per term
Level: advanced
CAMPUS group: ‘Form & Music’
This course, which is suitable for poets who already
grasp the basics of form and rhythm, will look
at the structural, musical and metrical aspects
of contemporary poetry. The broad subjects of
the two remaining terms are musicality and nonmetrical forms. Students will be encouraged to write
poems which fit in with the work discussed and try
established and invented forms.
To book: contact the office for details.
Generating Poems
Tutor: Karen McCarthy Woolf
Venue: The Poetry School
Day / Time: Tuesdays, fortnightly, 6.45 – 8.45pm
Duration: 2 x 5 sessions
Start Date: 3 February
Price: £86, £82, £69 per term
Level: intermediate
CAMPUS group: ‘Generating Poems’
This course will look closely at how poems can
be provoked or prompted, considering how
‘constraints’, whether formal or thematic, can
actually release and stimulate the imagination. We
will explore emulation and modelling from other
poems, as well as using other texts (film, music, art)
as inspiration. We’ll also consider old and new poetic
forms, exploring the link between form and content.
This class will involve both writing exercises in class
and at home and will offer feedback on participants’
writing alongside the broader discussions.
Advanced Poetry Writing
Tutor: Pascale Petit
Venue: The Poetry School
Day / Time: Wednesdays, 4 – 6pm, 6.45 – 8.45pm
(two separate classes)
Duration: 2 x 10 weeks
Start Date: 28 January
Price: £163, £155, £130 per term
Level: advanced
CAMPUS group: ‘Advanced Poetry Writing 2014 /15’
For poets writing at an advanced level, a detailed
feedback workshop for the poems you are working
on. There are no writing exercises in these sessions,
but each week you will read published poetry to
spark off your own new ideas. This is a course to
keep your poetic discipline focused over the year.
To book: contact the office for details.
Advanced Poetry Workshop with Kathryn Maris
and special guests
Tutor: Kathryn Maris
Venue: The Poetry School
Day / Time: Wednesdays, 11am – 1pm
Duration: 2 x 10 weeks
Start Date: 21 January
Price: £163, £155, £130 per term
Level: advanced
This advanced workshop led by Kathryn Maris
will focus on the development of your own poetry
through weekly homework exercises and indepth feedback on your poems in progress. Up
to four visiting poets during the term will give a
short reading or discussion of their work, answer
questions, and offer feedback on student poems.
Spring guests, subject to confirmation, will include
Jamie McKendrick, Jacqueline Gabbitas, George
Szirtes and Rebecca Perry.
To book: contact the office for details.
Taking Your Writing Further
Tutor: Myra Schneider
Venue: 130 Morton Way, London N14 7AL
Day / Time: Tuesdays 1.30 – 4.30pm
Duration: 7 monthly sessions of 3hrs
Dates: Jan 20, Feb 17, Mar 17, Apr 21, May 19, June 23
, July 21
Price: p.o.a.
Level: advanced
Training the Poem
Tutor: Jacqueline Saphra
Venue: The Poetry School
Day / Time: Wednesday, 6.45 – 8.45pm
Duration: 2 x 10 weeks
Start Date: 28 January
Price: £163, £155, £130 per term
Level: intermediate
CAMPUS group: ‘Training the Poem’
A group which focuses on detailed feedback and
discussion of your poems in each session, also poetry
topics, this year: key contemporary poets, a focus on the
possibilities of language, writing about world issues.
Terrance Hayes said ‘… a stork brings the poems.
They are little creatures I have to train and send out
into the world.’ If you already know the basics, have a
few fledgling poems and want to expand your poetic
territory, this course is for you. Through a mixture of
To book: contact the office for details.
themed workshops, close reading, group feedback
and writing experiments, you’ll take some creative
leaps and find new ways of combining inspiration
and craft. You’ll develop your poems from first draft
to final revision and on towards publication and
To book: contact the office for details.
Poetry & Prose
Tutor: Myra Schneider
Venue: 130 Morton Way, London N14 7AL
Day / Time: Wednesdays 7.45pm – 9.45pm
Duration: 6 monthly sessions of 2hrs
Dates: 7 Jan, 4 Feb, 4 March, 1 Apr, 6 May, 10
Price: p.o.a.
Level: intermediate/advanced
A monthly meeting for those who have had some
experience in writing poetry or serious fiction,
involving exercises and in-depth feedback to
develop critical skills. Myra’s particular interests
lie in personal writing, an area in which she’s
widely published, also narrative.
To book: contact the office for details.
Intermediate Poetry Workshop
Tutor: Roddy Lumsden
Venue: The Poetry School
Day / Time: Thursdays, 2 – 4pm
Duration: 2 x 10 weeks
Start Date: 29 January
Price: £163, £155, £130 per term
Level: intermediate
CAMPUS group: ‘Intermediate Poetry Workshop’
This course is suitable for intermediate writers
who want to improve their skills and develop new
work. Every second week, tutor Roddy Lumsden
will show a batch of poems which are connected
by form or theme, to prompt participants to bring
a new poem of their own the following week. The
emphasis is on the contemporary and we also
look at the work of emerging writers and discuss
technical and editorial aspects of the writing
To book: contact the office for details.
Saturday Sessions
Tutor: Ros Barber
Venue: The Poetry School
Day / Time: Saturdays, monthly, 10.30am – 4.30pm
Duration: 3 sessions per term
Dates: 31 Jan, 28 Feb, 28 Mar
Price: £166, £158, £133
Level: open to all
CAMPUS group: ‘Saturday Sessions with Ros
Does your poetry need a bit of a kick? Do you want
to take poetry seriously, yet leave each session
feeling uplifted? Spend time with a supportive
tutor and friendly students. Join a group that gives
considered advice, loves poetry and wants to like
you and your work.
Poetry of Place
Tutor: Róisín Tierney
Venue: The Poetry School
Day / Time: Mondays, 6.45 – 8.45pm
Duration: 10 weeks
Start Date: 26 January
Price: £163, £155, £130
Level: open to all
CAMPUS group: ‘Poetry of Place’
Not a travelogue, this course will look instead
at the many ways in which place can be used in
poetry. It is designed for poets who want to enlarge
their scope and develop their skills as they explore
new approaches to the subject. Place as home,
as a point of departure, as something imagined,
remembered or yearned for, as the source of
emotional nourishment and inspiration: all this, and
more, will be considered. Over ten weeks, we will
look at a broad range of poems from different parts
of the world – including the UK, Ireland, the USA,
Spain and the Caribbean – and participants will
be encouraged to share their own poems written
in response to, or inspired by, the work covered in
class. Workshopping and critical discussion will
be conducted in a wholly friendly and constructive
Routes into Poetry
Tutor: Tamar Yoseloff
Venue: The Poetry School
Day / Time: Tuesdays, 6.45 – 8.45pm
Duration: 2 x 10 weeks + 1 weekend session 11 – 12
Start Date: 27 January
Price: £163, £155, £130 per term
Level: beginners
CAMPUS group: ‘Routes into Poetry 2014/15’
This course is appropriate for beginners and those
who have written some poetry but who would like
to take a more structured approach to their writing.
You will examine the basics of rhyme, metre, verse
forms, lineation and stanza structure. Through
exercises, reading, writing and feedback, you will
also begin to construct a voice, to create shapes
on the page and develop your first drafts with
Defining a Style
Tutor: Tim Dooley
Venue: The Poetry School
Day / Time: Tuesdays, 6.45 – 8.45pm
Duration: 10 weeks
Start Date: 27 January
Price: £163, £155, £130
Level: intermediate
CAMPUS group: ‘Defining a Style’
This is the second of a trio of student-centred
courses designed both for experienced writers
looking to widen their repertoire and for relative
beginners looking for a more structured approach
to their writing. You will have the opportunity to
define your goals as a writer while continuing to
develop an individual body of creative work. You
will consider different approaches to poetry and
aesthetics as expressed explicitly in interviews
with writers and manifestos, and implicitly in
writers’ practice, while continuing to explore ways
in which writing can engage with public or private
themes and examine the different effects of free
and formal verse structures and of working within
artificial constraints. Through exercises, reading,
writing, group feedback and one-to-one or small
group planning sessions, you will be encouraged
to construct an independent voice and to develop
confidence both in shaping your work and in
defending it. While students who have completed the
course ‘Finding a Style’ will be given priority when
booking, ‘Defining a Style’ is also suitable for those
seeking a one-term stand-alone course.
Taking Time Out
Tutor: John Greening
Venue: The Poetry School
Day / Time: Tuesdays, fortnightly, 6.45 – 8.45pm
Duration: 5 sessions
Start Date: 27 January
Price: £86, £82, £69
Level: open to all
CAMPUS group: ‘Taking Time Out’
Guiding you over five weeks through five centuries
of poetry in English, John Greening (whose recent
Carcanet collection ‘sends dispatches across the
years’) will suggest ways that we can learn from
earlier writers. In intensive fortnightly sessions of
chronological reading, writing and discussion, expect
to try your hand at forms and techniques that have
been overlooked. What might medieval allegory,
Metaphysical conceit, Augustan satire, or even
Imagism offer the poet of 2015?
Writing the Tempest
Tutor: Roddy Lumsden
Venue: The Poetry School
Day / Time: Thursdays, 6.45 – 8.45pm
Duration: 10 weeks
Start Date: 29 January
Price: £163, £155, £130
Level: intermediate/advanced
CAMPUS group: ‘Writing the Tempest’
The Tempest is one of Shakespeare’s most-loved
texts. This course will, over ten sessions, take a
sideways look at the famous work, and also other
works (poems, films, music) which have been
influenced by it or draw on its themes. Students will
be encouraged to create new poems which draw on
characters in the text and after the course, there will
be an event featuring these poems.
Carnival and the Masks of Bacchanal
Tutor: Fawzia Kane
Venue: The Poetry School
Day / Time: Thursdays, fortnightly, 6.45 – 8.45pm
Duration: 5 sessions
Start Date: 29 January
Price: £86, £82, £69
Level: open to all
CAMPUS group: ‘Carnival and the Masks of
‘Carnival is... the loss of self’ - Roger Turton.
Bacchanal is a Caribbean word for confusion,
scandal or wild revelry. It is also the corybantic
freedom experienced during the pre-Lenten days of
Carnival, only to be reined in on Ash Wednesday.
For these few days, social hierarchies are willingly
displaced. In this course, we revellers will displace
our own poetic hierarchies. We’ll inhabit Masks
of Bacchanal with a touch of hedonism. Using
Carnival props, music and food we’ll experiment
with becoming and writing with other voices, and
perhaps even, learn how to play our selves.
First Collection Surgery
Tutors: Kayo Chingonyi, Miriam Nash and Jasmine
Cooray with special guests
Venue: The Poetry School
Day / Time: Thursdays, fortnightly, 6.45 – 8.45pm
Duration: 5 sessions
Start Date: 5 February
Price: £86, £82, £69
Level: intermediate/advanced
CAMPUS group: ‘First Collection Surgery’
Join Kayo, Miriam and Jasmine for a term-long
manuscript surgery aimed at poets working on a
first collection. Each session will focus on a different
aspect of the process of shaping a group of poems
into a book. This course is suitable for poets with
at least 20 poems to work with who are looking for
a generative and supportive environment. Class
sessions will be augmented by an online group on
CAMPUS for critique and inspiration outside the
fortnightly sessions.
T S Eliot Prize Preview with Kathryn Maris
Venue: Southbank Centre
Date: Sunday 11 January
Time: 3 – 5pm
Price: £11
Level: open to all
The T S Eliot Prize Readings is the event that kicks
off poetry’s New Year. Poets who have written the
year’s ten best books read for eight minutes for 2,000
people the night before the £20,000 single prize
winner is announced. In advance of the Readings,
Kathryn provides an overview of this year’s
Shortlisted books, inviting comment and debate from
the audience.
Book your tickets via www.southbankcentre.co.uk
The Poetry in Money
Tutor: Claire Crowther
Venue: The Poetry School
Date: Saturday 7 February
Time: 10.30 – 4.30pm
Price: £69, £66, £55
Level: open to all
This workshop will help you, as Philip Larkin put it, to
‘listen to money singing’. In a rollercoaster recession,
whether a rich poet or, more likely, a poor one, you
have in your pocket rich material for writing. Claire
Crowther, currently poet-in-residence at the Royal
Mint Museum, will introduce you to the overlooked
and perhaps endangered language of coins. Read
some superb poems about money by Lorna Goodison,
Howard Nemirov, Penelope Shuttle and write your
Continued overleaf
Acoustics: Noise + Silence
Tutor: Zoe Skoulding
Venue: The Poetry School
Date: Saturday 14 February
Time: 10.30 – 4.30pm
Price: £69, £66, £55
Level: open to all
Do we think differently when we pay attention
to our ears rather than our eyes? How can poetry
offer an alternative to a culture that is increasingly
focused on the rapid gathering of visual
information? Through practical exercises exploring
poetry’s relationships with music, performance,
time and attention, this day session will explore not
only the sound of the poem but also its reference to
a wider acoustic environment, including noise and
The Unseen
Tutor: Jo Bell
Venue: The Poetry School
Date: Saturday 21 February
Time: 10.30 – 4.30pm
Price: £69, £66, £55
Level: open to all
‘I see dead people.’ Don’t we all - seeing the unseen
is a part of the poet’s troubled vision. The writer’s
eye can give us access to all kinds of unseen
environment. In this intensive, lively day-long
writing session we consider all that is invisible to
the naked eye. From the staphylococcus bacterium
to the man behind the arras, from the bottom of the
riverbed to the U-bend of the toilet, and from the
other side of the moon to the faith of our fathers join Jo for a day of seeing the unseen.
Spin Offs
Tutor: David Harsent
Venue: The Poetry School
Date: Saturday 21 March
Time: 10.30 – 4.30pm
Price: £69, £66, £55
Level: open to all
Have you ever thought that there could be a version
of Sonnet 18 in which the loved one is compared to a
rainy afternoon in mid-winter? Or another where the
Journey of the Magi is a bit of a jolly and leads to a
Premier Inn in Huddersfield? We’re not suggesting
anything quite that extreme, though the course will
ask students to devise a different take on poems
ancient or modern to see what that might lead to.
Using the source-poem as a jumping-off point, you
will make spin-off versions that could be surprising,
contradictory, deeper or lighter than the original, or
even aggressively oppositional.
Hanami Festival Cherry Blossom Poetry Picnic
Tutor: Fawzia Kane and Louisa Hooper
Venue: The National Fruit Collection, Brogdale
Collections, Faversham, Kent (more details at www.
Date: An April Saturday 2015 – date tbc
Time: 11.30am onwards
Price: £42, £39, £33 + Brogdale entry fee
Register for interest: email [email protected]
Level: open to all
Join Fawzia and Louisa for some atmospheric
blossom speckled poetry writing – ‘Hanami’ is
a festival dedicated to cherry blossom and is
celebrated by the Japanese every year. The word
Hanami elegantly captures the reflexive happiness
and enjoyment of seeing blossom in full bloom.
From 11.30 – 12.30 you’ll tour the fruit tree blossom
with Fawzia and Louisa’s note-taking exercises to
hand. Then you’ll have an hour for a picnic lunch
and some draft making, followed by two hours of
writing and reading. If you’d like to stay longer in
the orchards, you’d be welcome to. We are unable
to set the date for this workshop yet, as we don’t
know when the blossom will be ready. Brogdale
blossom forecasts start in March, so we will be
able to fix a date at that point. We won’t take any
payments till we know the date, so let us know if
you are interested, and we will keep you informed of
confirmed plans.
Our online courses take place in CAMPUS
(www.campus.poetryschool.com), our social
network for poets. Using CAMPUS, students
can use a Facebook-style platform to chat
with friends both privately and publicly,
participate in live chats, submit poems and
download learning resources.
Interactive courses last 10 weeks, consisting
of one assignment posted per session every
fortnight. Each session, you will be expected to
post poems in response to the assignment within
a week, after which point students will begin to
feed back on each other’s work in their unique
CAMPUS online group forum. Each session
culminates in a 2 hour live chatroom discussion
with your course tutor, where all the latest
poems are discussed in a free-flowing, live typed
discussion. All live chats are then transcribed
and archived for students to re-read whenever
they want. New assignments are posted after
each live chat.
Feedback courses have no live chat component.
Students share and leave feedback within their
CAMPUS group online forum only.
Online reading groups are based primarily on
reading and discussion and have no live chat
Please note: Online courses are open to all
students but a basic level of digital literacy is
essential. The Poetry School can help you with
CAMPUS technical issues, but you need to be a
confident user of digital platforms to take part
in these classes. To find our whether an online
course is right for you, please email
[email protected]
possibility of the phantasmagorical has fascinated
poets from Coleridge’s ‘Kubla Khan’, through
John Berryman’s Dream Songs to Don Paterson’s
Alexandrian library. Dreams are places to get lost
and lose yourself in, where the unconscious runs
wild, and nothing is ever quite as it seems. In poems,
they can grant access to weirdly credible worlds
beyond the routine, image-rich and unstable. Where
does the dream end, and reality begin? How does a
dreamscape supercharge a poem’s symbolism? Like
the best poems, can we ever forget our dreams? Or
do they linger, as Paterson puts it, in ‘that part of the
mind that the mind cannot contemplate’? This course
will dive into the reveries conjured by contemporary
poets including Jacob Polley, Frances Leviston,
Adrienne Rich, August Kleinzahler, John Burnside
and Emily Berry, to see just how deep down the
rabbit-hole poems can go.
Fragments, from the Thought to the Page
Tutor: Kathryn Maris
Duration: 5 sessions
Course starts: 27 January
Live chats: Tuesdays, fortnightly, 7pm GMT
First live chat: 10 February
Price: £99, £94, £79
Level: intermediate/advanced
In this genre-bending course, you will look at poets,
fiction writers, philosophers and psychoanalysts
who think and write in fragments, use modes of
interruption or whose work simply survives in
fragment form. Fortnightly reading and writing
assignments will aim to broaden your ideas of
what is and isn’t a poem, demonstrate the value
of omission and the unstated, and suggest new
ways of observing yourself and the world, and of
communicating those observations. The course will
include texts by Sappho, Lydia Davis, Kimiko Hahn,
Simone Weil, Zata Kitowski , Adam Phillips, Wallace
Stevens, Theodor Adorno, Gertrude Stein, Sam
Riviere, Nuar Alsadir, Simon Smith, Anne Carson
and others. (This is a repeat of a course that has run
Dream On: Waking Up Your Poems with the
Tutor: Ben Wilkinson
Duration: 5 sessions
Course starts: 26 January
Live chats: Mondays, fortnightly, 7pm GMT
First live chat: 9 February
Price: £99, £94, £79
Level: open to all
‘All that we see or seem is but a dream within a
dream’ said Edgar Allen Poe. Stark or wondrous,
sinister or downright strange – the power and
YOU, The Movie: Horror, Western, Romance,
Noir and Disaster Poetry
Tutor: John Challis
Duration: 5 sessions
Course starts: 28 January
Live chats: Wednesdays, fortnightly, 7pm GMT
First live chat: 11 February
Price: £99, £94, £79
Level: open to all
Write What You Don’t Know: Research, Writing
& the Apparently Confessional
Tutor: Ryan Van Winkle
Duration: 5 sessions
Course starts: 30 January
Live chats: Fridays, fortnightly, 7pm GMT
First live chat: 13 February
Price: £99, £94, £79
Level: intermediate
New Definitions & Neologisms: the Poetry of
Tutor: Kate Potts
Duration: 5 sessions
Course starts: 3 February
Live chats: Tuesdays, fortnightly, 7pm GMT
First live chat: 17 February
Price: £99, £94, £79
Level: open to all
Cinema has changed the way we view the world.
Inspired by film and the way that it coerces us into
reimaging our lives behind the lens, this course will
explore the writing of ‘genre’ poetry. Focusing on
Westerns, Apocalyptic Disaster, Film Noir, Romantic
Comedies, and Horror, this course will inspire you
to tell your life stories in poetic form as though they
were set within these genres. As the first poetry
course with a viewing list as long as its reading list, by
the end you’ll have a sequence of poems that take in
everything from shoot-outs at dawn, climate change,
alien invasion, pessimistic private eyes, quirky love
affairs and dark slasher thrillers. This is a course for
film and poetry lovers.
It is a common misconception that poets write
autobiographical works which centre solely on their
own experiences. In this course we aim to challenge
that notion and will work on writing poetry through
research, quotation and character. The course
will involve a wide-range of assignments asking
students to research science, history, political
events, and even to imagine a distant future. We
will attempt to write about countries we’ve never
been to, wars we’ve never experienced, theories we
don’t understand, disasters we had no part in and
photos in which our faces don’t appear. The course
will use journalism, photographs, streaming audio
and video to offer a broad range of inspiration and
source material.
In the preface to his groundbreaking and influential
work A Dictionary of the English Language Samuel
Johnson describes himself as “a poet doomed at last
to wake a lexicographer”. How does poetry – with its
subjective content and its concern with what’s outside
and beyond language – relate and respond to the
relatively utilitarian form, function and language of the
dictionary? How have poets used and commented on
the dictionaries as ‘guardians of the cultural tradition’?
In this course we will explore and examine dictionaries
and their power through a series of activities including
making dictionary definition poems; writing with
dialect, archaic, unusual and invented words; and
creating and using taxonomies. We will look at unusual
and idiosyncratic dictionaries, and use Oulipan
dictionary-based techniques. We will also study and
draw inspiration from the work of dictionary-loving
poets including Kei Miller, Robert Pinsky, Mary Kinzie,
Harryette Mullen, Giles Goodland, Jen Hadfield, John
McCullough, and Anne Carson.
Deep Diving Poetry: the Language of Coastlines
and the Sea
Tutor: Claire Trévien
Duration: 5 sessions
Course starts: 29 January
Live chats: Thursdays, fortnightly, 7pm GMT
First live chat: 12 February
Price: £99, £94, £79
Level: open to all
Is your version of the sea Derek Walcott’s ‘grey vault’
of history or are its ‘edges overgrown with lace’ as
Ivan V Lalić would have it? The seascape has long
been a favourite with poets, yet our relationship with
it has never been entirely comfortable: it threatens
to rise, swallows planes whole, and a large portion of
its depths remains unchartered and unknown. In this
course, we will look at the different ways in which
the sea can inspire, intrude and disrupt your writing
practice. From creatures of the deep to submerged
forests, from coast-cultures to the sea as a foreign
planet, you will encounter a variety of texts that will
encourage you to create work that engages with the
sea’s multiple facets.
Poetry and the Brain
Tutor: Helen Mort
Duration: 5 sessions
Course starts: 2 February
Live chats: Mondays, fortnightly, 7pm GMT
First live chat: 16 February
Price: £99, £94, £79
Level: open to all
What’s on your mind? Or rather, what’s in it?
Neuroscience is now so popular that some scientists
say ‘you are your brain’. Technologies like fMRI have
something to tell us about how we look at paintings,
why we buy things, how we vote and what we find
beautiful. But can the science of the brain inspire new
art? This course will look at how poetry often tackles
the same fundamental questions as neuroscience
about what it means to be human. You will consider
themes such as memory, embodiment, synaesthesia
and pattern-formation and look at poems that
challenge the idea that the brain is confined to the
body. You’ll also discuss work by Norman MacCaig,
Michael Donaghy, Liz Berry, Paul Muldoon, Andrew
Greig and Andrew Waterhouse. The writing exercises
will be accessible to everyone and no scientific
knowledge is necessary. (This is a repeat of a course
that has run previously).
Where it Begins: a course for new poets
Tutor: Nii Ayikwei Parkes
Duration: 5 sessions
Course starts: 4 February
Live chats: Wednesdays, fortnightly, 7pm GMT
First live chat: 18 February
Price: £99, £94, £79
Level: beginner
Where does a poem begin? What marks the
difference between a poem and other forms of
writing? Exploring some of the defining elements
of poetry, such as the line ending, this course will
unpack the crafting of poetry, from the most basic
fun rhyme to subtle political commentary. Although
the approaches used may be wacky, there will still be
a focus on good old-fashioned editing, the whittling
of things to their most beautiful essence, never
forgetting that poems begin in the land of play, the
world of fun. If you have ever wanted to write poetry
but were not sure how to start, this is where it begins.
Re-Writing the Map
Tutor: Suzannah Evans
Duration: 5 sessions
Course starts: 5 February
Live chats: Thursdays, fortnightly, 7pm GMT
First live chat: 19 February
Price: £99, £94, £79
Level: open to all
‘There are Maps to anywhere: chromosomes, galaxies,
the brain, the cell, the spaces between atoms, cracks
in the double helix, the edge of time’ (Stephen S Hall).
This course will explore maps and other locative
media as subjects and vehicles for poetry, focussing
on the relationship between poetry and the map,
and the ways in which poetry can help us to explore
and augment our surroundings. The course will also
explore the relationships between place and language,
and the way physical location and navigation affects
our sense of identity. Inspired by poetry including Kei
Miller, Eavan Boland, Liz Berry and Michael Donaghy
and of course by your own explorations, you will use
poetry to map the histories and ideas that might go
unnoticed on the Ordnance Survey.
‘No laughs please, we’re poets’ - can comic poetry
be good poetry?
Tutor: Jonathan Edwards
Duration: 5 sessions
Course starts: 6 February
Live chats: Fridays, fortnightly, 7pm GMT
First live chat: 20 February
Price: £99, £94, £79
Level: open to all
‘A poem is like a much, much richer joke’ – Adam
Zagajewski. On this course, you’ll look at some
seriously funny poems by the likes of Glyn Maxwell,
Simon Armitage, Thomas Lux, Jo Shapcott and
Carol Ann Duffy, exploring a range of approaches
to the comic, considering aspects such as narrative,
allegory and the use of the surreal. You’ll look at a
range of forms, such as the sonnet and the villanelle,
and how they can be used to shift a comic poem
into seriousness; and how the use of everyday life
and characters can result in strange and original
comic impacts. Looking at ‘crossover’ writers such
as Benjamin Zephaniah and John Cooper Clarke,
this course will also seek to bridge the relationship
between ‘page’ and ‘performance’ poetry, seeking
similarities rather than differences in how both
employ comic techniques. Lastly, you will look at
what in literary terms is often seen as ‘bad’ comic
poetry, while seeking to develop our own comic
poems which, while they will hopefully make people
smile or laugh, will go far beyond the confines of
what is traditionally considered as light verse.
This is the second in a new series of online courses
suitable for international students, as well as those
based in the UK. They are the same as our interactive
online courses, however there are no live chats (all
feedback is written) and the courses can be completed
from any time zone.
Tutor: Catherine Smith
Duration: 10 weeks / 5 sessions
Course starts: 27 January
First poem submission deadline: 10 Feb
Price: £75, £71, £60
Level: intermediate/advanced
Tutor: S J Fowler
Duration: 10 weeks / 5 sessions
Course starts: 26 January
Price: £99, £94, £79
Level: open to all
Five sessions; five great, European avant-gardes.
Explore contemporary innovations in European poetry
with British vanguardist S J Fowler, and discover
how their remarkable explorations in the written
word often compliment, rather than antagonise,
more formal writing practice. A course stressing the
contemporary, Maintenant! will introduce 5 great
poetic movements that will springboard you into new
writing techniques, stressing the possibility amidst
the history. Covering Oulipo, Austrian modernism,
Concrete poetry, CoBra and the British poetry revival,
this course - with the energy, dynamism and invention
of the movements it explores - will enrich anyone’s
poetry horizons.
This Enchanted Isle – reading W H Auden’s ‘The
Sea and the Mirror’
Tutor: A B Jackson
Duration: 10 weeks
Course starts: 29 January
Price: £15
Level: open to all
W H Auden published his long poem ‘The Sea and
the Mirror’ in 1944, five years after he left war-torn
England to take up residence in America. It is billed
as a ‘commentary’ on Shakespeare’s The Tempest,
and includes a number of individual pieces in a
wide variety of forms (terza rima, sestina, sonnet,
villanelle, blank verse, prose) voiced by the play’s
characters. This reading course will offer an
excellent opportunity to enter Auden’s mysterious,
multi-layered world and explore these virtuoso
poems in their own right as well as in relation to
Shakespeare’s text, or Peter Greenaway’s film, or any
other incarnation which takes your interest. The
course will take place over ten weeks, with reading
notes provided every week in order to generate
discussion and your own poems.
Tutor: John Clegg
Duration: 10 weeks / 5 sessions
Course starts: 28 January
First poem submission deadline: 11 Feb
Price: £75, £71, £60
Level: open to all
Download poetry courses and lessons direct
from our website. They are non-interactive perfect for those who want to learn at their own
pace. Pay online at www.poetryschool.com
Our download courses contain dozens of themed
reading and writing exercises to work on by
yourself. How to Write Poetry by Nigel Forde
and Towards a Collection by Pascale Petit are £10
each; Poetry & Autobiography by Graham Fawcett,
Routes into Poetry by Tamar Yoseloff is £15.
Short downloads contain a brief burst of advice
about a specific area of craft or inspiration - perfect
for breaking open new ideas. Plenty of ideas for
beginner, intermediate and advanced writers – all
short downloads are £3 each, although occasionally
we have a special offer freebie available on the
website – check for details.
Urban wandering and the practice of
‘psychogeography’, as adopted by such writers as
Iain Sinclair, Paul Farley and Chris McCabe, can
influence the rhythms and subjects of our poems.
Tamar Yoseloff’s self-guided tour of Clerkenwell
and Bloomsbury is designed to generate new poetry,
though a combination of historical fact and literary
reference. Download a map and the MP3 file for £5.
Activities in Manchester take place in the
Friends’ Meeting House, 6 Mount Street,
Manchester, M2 5NS and the International
Anthony Burgess Foundation, Engine House,
Chorlton Mill, 3 Cambridge Street,
Manchester M1 5BY.
Classics Across Cultures:
a reading and writing course
Tutor: Edmund Prestwich
Venue: International Anthony Burgess Foundation/
Friends’ Meeting House
Day / Time: Mondays, 7 – 9pm
Duration: 5 weeks
Start Date: 26 January
Price: £82, £78, £66
Level: open to all
CAMPUS group: ‘Classics Across Cultures’
Li Po and Tu Fu have been among China’s favourite
lyric poets since the 8th century AD. Dante’s
spiritual epic The Divine Comedy has been a
colossal influence on writers since its composition
in fourteenth century Florence, and is often
described as the greatest poem ever written. The
anonymous Old English epic Beowulf disappeared
from sight for over a thousand years, to come into
its own again in the 20th century. Their Chinese,
Italian and Anglo-Saxon authors offer hugely
contrasting visions of the human condition, and
equally contrasting suggestions to the writer.
We will approach the originals via synopses
and translated passages, look at how differently
translators like Ezra Pound, Seamus Heaney,
Derek Mahon, Kenneth Rexroth and others have
approached them, and explore what stimulus they
can provide for fresh writing. Time will be given to
discussing writing by members of the group but no
one will be under pressure to put work forward.
Relight Your Fire
Tutor: Clare Shaw
Venue: International Anthony Burgess Foundation/
Friends’ Meeting House
Day / Time: Thursdays, 7 – 9pm
Duration: 5 weeks
Start Date: 5 March
Price: £82, £78, £66
Level: open to all
CAMPUS group: ‘Relight Your Fire’
Suitable for writers at any level, this five week course
will offer you prompts and exercises to kickstart
your writing; along with passion and enthusiasm
in bucket loads. With new - and old - writing to fuel
you, you’ll be reminded of the power of the word, and
of the principles that ensure the power of your own
voice in poetry. Busy, blocked, ill, or in a rut …. you’ll
be supported in facing your demons; reordering your
priorities; and you’ll leave with practical strategies,
information and ideas to keep you writing into the
Saturday Sessions
Tutor: Ann Sansom & Peter Sansom
Venue: International Anthony Burgess Foundation
Day / Time: Saturdays, monthly, 10.30am – 4.30pm
Duration: 3 sessions per term
Dates: 31 Jan, 21 Feb, 21 Mar
Price: £56, £53, £45 per session
Level: open to all
Three individual sessions, each of which combines
brilliant writing exercises with insightful,
supportive feedback. These writing Saturdays
will make a genuine difference to your poetry. A
suggested reading-list and shared reading and
writing tasks at home (between sessions) will
further the group experience. Ann and Peter will
alternate tutoring the days.
(The January session finishes at 4pm, with
shorter breaks.)
ctivities in Exeter take place in Exeter
Community Centre, 17 St David’s Hill,
Exeter EX4 3RG.
Poetry & Time
Tutor: Andy Brown
Venue: Exeter Community Centre
Day / Time: Tuesdays, fortnightly 6 – 8pm
Duration: 5 sessions
Start Date: 27 January
Price: £82, £78, £66
Level: open to all
We will begin by looking at how imagery can be used
to suggest the passing of time and how it measures
out the poem. Our second session will concern the
actual timing of a poem: rhythm, metre, syllabics,
phrasing, pace and so forth. We will spend our third
week looking at how to handle discrete slices of time,
from the snapshot to the grand narrative. In the final
two weeks, we will look at historical time and ‘other
times’ as subject matter, as well as considering how
poets handle philosophical ideas about time. There
will be plenty of time (of course!) to write exercises
and share those in class, as well as learning through
discussion and the close reading of published poems.
Seminars meet monthly for in-depth discussions
on poems in progress, with a tutor on hand to
offer additional advice, guidance and feedback.
Groups contain between six and eight students.
A successful seminar group enables supportive
critical friendships to develop, so you are
encouraged to commit to all eight sessions.
As far as we can, we arrange seminars
according to levels of interest and experience.
Tell us what sort of writer you are and which
tutor you’d like to work with, and we’ll try and
find the right match for you right match for
you. The price £240, £228, £192 is for eight twoand-a- half hour sessions. Seminars capped at
six students cost £260, £247, £208. This fee is
payable in two instalments. If you would prefer to
pay in one instalment, there is a £10
reduction on each price.
London seminar groups are run by Jacqueline
Saphra, Robert Vas Dias and Tamar Yoseloff.
Jacqui Rowe runs a group in Birmingham
Greta Stoddart runs groups in Bridport and Exeter
Andrew Jamison runs a group in Bristol
Activities in Bristol take place in Hamilton
House, 80 Stokes Croft, Bristol BS1 3QY.
Shaping the Poem
Tutor: Patrick Brandon
Venue: Hamilton House
Day / Time: Thursdays, fortnightly, 7 – 9.30pm
Duration: 5 sessions
Start Date: 29 January
Price: £103, £98, £83
Level: open to all
We will discuss contemporary poetry, focusing on
two or three example poems each session, looking
at structure, rhythm, and image. Most of our time
will be devoted to poems students present to the
group. We will work together, focusing on editing –
reshaping, tightening and loosening where needed –
to make the poem the best it can be.
Lots of our tutors give one-to-one tutorials in
person or by email - contact us for details. A
one-to-one session with a poet can give you
personalised feedback on a selection of your
work, advise you on submitting to magazines or
discuss translation issues – tell us your particular
requirements, and we’ll find someone to help
at a convenient time and place for you. Longer
tutorials can easily be arranged too.
Tutorials in person - £100: The price is for an hour
of tutor preparation time, and a one hour meeting,
based on a submission of 200 lines of poetry.
Tutorials by email - £100: The price is for a
c1,000 word comment on a submission of 200
lines of poetry.
Manuscript Assessment - if you would like tailored
advice on a collection of poems which you are
aiming to publish as a pamphlet or full collection,
contact us for advice. We will pair you with a
suitable tutor, and arrange the level of assessment
which suits your needs and your budget.
15% off for new
The first time you take a course
or workshop with the Poetry
School, we’ll give you a 15%
discount on the price to say hello
and welcome. This offer is not
available online, so give Jo in the
office a call on 0207 582 1679 if
you’re booking for the first time.
Please book by
Poets who give tutorials are listed on the website
- to discuss a tutorial or assessment, email
[email protected],
call 0207 582 1679 or visit www.poetryschool.com
Susan Wicks runs a seminar group in Kent
Antony Dunn runs groups in Leeds and York
Alice Kavounas runs a group in Penzance
Lucy Lepchani runs a group in Plymouth
Moniza Alvi runs a group in Wymondham
ravelling Workshops are a menu of activities we
can organise for you anywhere in the country. If
you’ve got an existing writing or reading group,
we can bring a workshop to you for a set fee.
Poet tutors who offer Travelling Workshops are
Mandy Coe, Graham Fawcett, Mimi Khalvati,
Roddy Lumsden, Mario Petrucci, Clare Pollard and
Tamar Yoseloff. Each of them has workshops for
beginner, intermediate and advanced writers; and
there is a degree of flexibility in what they teach.
For more details of this service and to order your
own travelling workshop, visit www.poetryschool.
com/contact/travelling-workshops.php or email
[email protected]