Workshop 1: Fred D’Aguiar

Thursday 9 May |10am -12pm |£20

‘Poetry and Aesthetics’

Brodsky said that aesthetics generates ethics, that a formal study of the poem reveals its ethical frame inclined towards a kind universe, rather than a malevolent one, I suppose. But what does the phrase ‘aesthetics determine ethics’ mean (could it work the other way around?) for a group of writers who are readers, or readers who are writers, or both, trying to pool various perspectives of a poem with a view to understand the poem more deeply, and to help the poet to revise it and, hopefully, improve it for publication? And how is that notion tempered by Bishop’s idea that all knowledge is historical (“flowing and flown”)? And all this in a time of war and strife? Bring your 1-page poem to read and discuss with the class.

Workshop 2: Alice Hiller

Friday 10 May | 1pm-3pm | £20

‘Colour as portal and energy channel: working the rainbow to amplify your poems’ impact and reach.’

This hands-on workshop will explore how colour can be channelled to intensify the emotional, political and philosophical resonances of a poem. Generative practical exercises will offer fresh ways into creating – including a colour-themed guided freewrite, and a three stage writing exercise drawing together memory and association with found materials to begin new and develop new work. Visual prompts and art materials will be supplied. Supporting this, we will also look at colour theory and consider how colour is used by poets including Elisabeth Bishop, Gail McConnell, Airea D. Matthews, Anthony Joseph, Paul Tran, Padraig Regan and Ella Frears.

Workshop 3: Mymona Bibi and Natalia Bukia-Peters

Saturday 11 May | 10am-12pm £20

‘An introduction to translating poetry’

Join translator Natalia Bukia-Peters and poet Mymona Bibi from ‘Brown Girls Write’ for a unique poetry translation workshop that anyone can join. Led by these facilitators, you’ll collaborate with other participants to explore the art of translation, and create a group translation of a poem from the unique Georgian language into English. No experience of Georgian, translation or poetry is necessary to take part. You’ll come out of this workshop with a greater understanding of translation, Georgian culture, and how to make any poem dance on the page. The group’s translation will be published on the Poetry Translation Centre website, joining an international archive of hundreds of poems.

This workshop is presented by the Poetry Translation Centre, celebrating its 20th birthday throughout 2024, supported by Arts Council England. Find out more at

Workshop 4: Suji Kwock Kim

Saturday 11 May | 12.30-2.30 | £20

‘Eco-poems & non-human perspectives’

Remember that movie Il Postino (The Postman)? One of the Pablo Neruda poems quoted by the postman, “Walking Around,” includes the line: “I am tired of being a man.” Maybe you, too, are tired of being human. Write a poem from a non-human perspective: it could be from the perspective of a plant or flower, as in our class handouts, or it could be from the perspective of anything you can think of a bone, a piano, a turkey, a blimp, a hill of beans. Fly, be free! This is an exercise in empathy and imagined self-displacement, as well as wit and wonder. What would you “see” and touch and “care” about, in your new condition? Would you pity or admire or be indifferent to the person that you were? We can walk around outside and find objects or animals from whose perspectives we’ll write.