What happens in a Poetry School class or workshop?
Tutor and students sit round a large table for a typical Poetry School course, session or workshop and the meetings are friendly and relatively informal. In each 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. Some courses will include tasks for you to complete at home.
Will Poetry School classes help me become a poet?
Since 1997, when the Poetry School was founded, our students have gone on to publish in magazines and online; they've produced pamphlets and books as poets and editors with publishers from the smallest independents to the largest commercial houses; they've won multiple prizes and awards; they've become poetry tutors themselves; they've moved on to take poetry MAs and PhDs. While we can't guarantee that all students will go on to get published; serious engagement with the art and craft of poetry in the company of tutors and fellow students who are as passionate about the form as you are can only ever improve your chances of getting your work out to a wider audience.
The activity I want is fully booked - what can I do?
Contact us and ask to be put on a waiting list - if any places come free, we will let you know.
Can I put my name down for a course before booking opens?
There is a lot of demand for our courses and workshops, and we want to keep the booking process as fair as possible for everyone who wants to enrol. When booking opens, everyone has an equal chance of booking popular activities by post, phone or online on a first-come, first-served basis; and we don't take any bookings before the advertised date.
Will the Poetry School be publishing any more anthologies?
In the past, the Poetry School collaborated with the poetry publishers Enitharmon Press to produce anthologies of students' work. There are no plans to produce any more of these anthologies; but sometimes class members self-publish anthologies of their own work, and we will happily support you with ideas and advice if you wish to do this.
In the early years of the Poetry School in London, classes used to take place in venues all over the city. Why doesn't that happen any more?
As the School grew and became more successful, it became more difficult to find the number of venues we needed, at affordable prices and with proper disabled access. Using our own venue in Lambeth Walk (which is close to rail, tube and bus links) means that we can keep the cost of activities down for students.
Why do you pick particular venues? Could we have fewer students in a class?The most common issues raised in our feedback surveys are about venue choice and number of students in a group. Students obviously prefer comfortable, central venues; and fewer students in a group to allow for lots of individual attention from the tutor. It's our constant task to find affordable, accessible venues in all the locations we operate, and the choices we make have to be within our budgets. Five star centrality is very expensive, and we don't want to pass those costs on to students. Likewise, if we capped group numbers at 8-10 students, the cost-per-activity would double, and we don't want to do this either. If you have local knowldege about suitable new venues, we will gratefully act on your recommendations.
There's a particular poetic subject I want to study / particular tutor I want to work with - can you help?
Contact us and let us know what or who it is. If it's a subject or tutor which would fit into our programmes, we will try and make it happen. Our programming ideas often come from student suggestions. Each season, we aim to programme activities for all levels of poet, beginner to advanced; for those who want to read, write, publish and perform poetry, for people who want extended studies, day-long activities or online courses; for students looking for technical advice, feedback on existing work or ideas for new poetry; and for people who like to learn in groups, one-on one or by themselves.
How do I teach for the Poetry School?
Please send us details of your publication record and teaching experience and the ideas you have for courses and workshops you'd like to teach. If your ideas for the programme are a fit for ours, we will start to make joint plans. We have a 'Teaching for the Poetry School for the First Time' hand out which might be useful - ask us to email it to you.
I'm a tutor teaching for the Poetry School. Where can I view your Employer's Liability Certificate?
Our Certificate of Employer's Liability can be viewed here.
Courses & Workshops
Types of activity
Poetry & Links