Clattery MacHinery on Poetry

July 24, 2006

The Guardian Newspaper’s Poetry Workshop

Filed under: Uncategorized — Clattery MacHinery @ 4:42 am


“Want to have your work reviewed by a published poet?”

These are the words that greet you at The Guardian newspaper’s Poetry workshop. About ten months of the year, an esteemed poet is “in residence” to, not only comment on the shortlisted selections, but create the workshop theme of the month. This opportunity and service comes to us through Sarah Crown and the other folks at Guardian Unlimited Books.

This month, the poet in residence is Vicki Feaver. Here is a paragraph from her exercise on “capturing animals” at Vicki Feaver’s workshop:

Go on an animal hunt. Don’t just restrict yourself to warm-blooded animals–fish, reptiles, amoeba, will do equally well. This could be an actual field trip, or an expedition into your memory or imagination. Observe and make notes on your animal: its appearance and behaviour and habitat. Maybe it has a smell or a distinct cry.

It’s worth a go, if you write poetry. Submissions are due by e-mail at the end of the month. Just watch your time zones.

Here, from previous workshops, are the links to the exercises, for your musing pleasure, and the resulting shortlists and judges’ comments, for your reading interests.

October 2004: Poet-in-residence: Ruth Fainlight
Shortlist and comment: ‘They all reach a high standard’

November 2004: Tobias Hill
Shortlist and comment: ‘Remember poetry is an oral form at heart’

December 2004: Tobias Hill’s workshop
Shortlist and comment: ‘A real Grand National of an exercise’

January 2005: Julia Darling’s workshop
Shortlist and comment: Are your poems brave enough?

February 2005: Chris Greenhalgh’s workshop
Shortlist and comment: ‘The endings were what made them . . .’

March 2005: Anne Stevenson’s workshop
Shortlist and comment: ‘Many fine sonnets’

April 2005: Tony Curtis’s workshop
Shortlist and comment: ‘The poets show an appreciation of the form . . .’

May 2005: Moniza Alvi’s workshop
Shortlist and comment: ‘Very much alive and healthily varied’

July 2005: David Harsent’s workshop
Shortlist and comment: Murdering your darlings

August 2005: Adèle Geras’s workshop
Shortlist and comment: ‘There are things going on here beyond the words’

September 2005: Micheal O’Siadhail’s workshop
Shortlist and comment: ‘A strikingly urban feel’

October 2005: John Burnside’s workshop
Shortlist and comment: Other lives

November 2005: Lucy Newlyn’s workshop
Shortlist and comment: ‘Poems that tell a story’

December 2005: Helen Farish’s workshop
Shortlist and comment: ‘All the poems have something to commend them . . .’

February 2006: Esther Morgan’s workshop
Shortlist and comment: Ghosts, written

March 2006: Jane Duran’s workshop
Shortlist and comment: Opposition victories

April 2006: Jen Hadfield’s workshop
Shortlist and comment: Praise be

June 2006: Pascale Petit’s workshop
Shortlist and comment: Ut pictura poesis

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