7th-10th December 2018
Tutors: Sean O’Brian, Greta Stoddart, Andrew McMillan and Kim Moore,
Abbot Hall Hotel, Kents Bank, Grange-Over-Sands, Cumbria
£390 to include breakfast, lunch and three-course evening meal.
Please contact hotel to book 015395 32896
The Poetry Carousel is a residential course with a difference – four very different workshops with four very different tutors, all crammed into one weekend. Each participant will be put into a group of between 8 and 10 to take part in a morning workshop with one of four tutors. Afternoons are free for reading and writing, and in the evening, there are poetry readings in the Great Hall at the hotel.
Read on to find out a little more about the amazing team of tutors I’ve assembled for the 2018 Poetry Carousel. The last two Carousels have sold out, and half of the places for this one have already gone, so if you’re interested, please get in touch with the hotel to book a place.
Greta Stoddart was born in Oxfordshire in 1966. Her first collection At Home in the Dark (Anvil) was shortlisted for the Forward Prize for Best First Collection and won the Geoffrey Faber Memorial Prize in 2002. Her second book, Salvation Jane (Anvil), was shortlisted for the Costa Book Award 2008. She was also shortlisted for the Forward Prize for Best Individual Poem in 2012. Her third book, Alive Alive O (Bloodaxe, 2015), was shortlisted for the Roehampton Poetry Prize 2016.
Her latest work, a radio poem called ‘Who’s there?’ broadcast on BBC Radio 4 was shortlisted for the 2017 Ted Hughes Award.
She has been Fellow at Warwick University, Writer in Residence at Exeter University and tutor at Bath Spa University and Goldsmiths College. She now lives in Devon and teaches for the Poetry School and the Arvon Foundation.
Andrew McMillan was born in South Yorkshire in 1988; his debut collection physical was the first ever poetry collection to win The Guardian First Book Award. The collection also won the Fenton Aldeburgh First Collection Prize, a Somerset Maugham Award (2016), an Eric Gregory Award (2016) and a Northern Writers’ award (2014). It was shortlisted the Dylan Thomas Prize, the Costa Poetry Award, The Sunday Times Young Writer of the Year 2016, the Forward Prize for Best First Collection, the Roehampton Poetry Prize and the Polari First Book Prize. It was a Poetry Book Society Recommendation for Autumn 2015. Most recently physical has been translated into Norwegian (Aschehoug, 2017) and French under the title Les Corps Des Hommes (Grasset, 2018). His second collection, playtime, will be published by Jonathan Cape in 2018. He is senior lecturer at the Manchester Writing School at MMU and lives in Manchester.
Sean O’Brien’s ninth poetry collection, Europa, is published in 2018 by Picador. His Collected Poems appeared in 2012. His work has received various awards including the T.S. Eliot, Forward and Roehampton Poetry prizes. In 2016 his second novel, Once Again Assembled Here, was published by Picador, and a chapbook of poetry and photographs, Hammersmith, by Hercules Editions. His second collection of short stories, Quartier Perdu, is due from Comma in 2018. He is a critic, translator, editor, playwright, novelist, broadcaster and experienced tutor and mentor. He lives in Newcastle upon Tyne, is Professor of Creative Writing at Newcastle University and a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature.
Kim Moore’s first full-length collection The Art of Falling was published by Seren in 2015 and won the 2016 Geoffrey Faber Memorial Prize. Her poem ‘In That Year’ from the collection was shortlisted for the Forward Prize for Best Published Poem. She won a Northern Writers Award in 2014, an Eric Gregory Award in 2011 and the Geoffrey Dearmer Prize in 2010. Her pamphlet If We Could Speak Like Wolves was a winner in the 2012 Poetry Business Pamphlet Competition, and went on to be shortlisted for a Michael Marks Award and named in The Independent as a Book of the Year. Her work has been translated into several languages including Croatian, Macedonian, Dutch, Spanish and Polish. After working for 13 years as a trumpet teacher, she is now a PhD student at Manchester Metropolitan University and is currently working on her second collection.
Guest Tutor: Rishi Distidar
Rishi Distidar is a fellow of The Complete Works, a consulting editor at The Rialto magazine, a member of the Malika’s Poetry Kitchen collective, and also serves as chair of the writer development organization Spread The Word. His debut collection Ticker-tape is published by Nine Arches Press, and a poem from it was included in The Forward Book of Poetry 2018.
Below you will find news of the workshops that we’ll be running over the Carousel weekend. As you can see from the workshop blurbs, they are the usual eclectic mix, so participants really will feel like they’ve been on a carousel!
The Poetry Carousel is currently sold out – however we do sometimes get last minute cancellations. If you’d like to be put on a waiting list, please ring Abbot Hall Hotel directly on 01539 532896.
Think of those times when you’re walking around a city, or drinking a cup of tea, or staring down into a dim back yard. You’re doing more or less nothing, being nowhere in particular, with nothing much in mind. The world seems to be on a break. And then a door is left ajar, or a light comes on in a room seen across rooftops, and the quiet seems to listen to itself, and for no apparent reason two and two make five. We’ll be considering some poems that touch on this terrain, and writing poems of our own in order to explore it.
Making it Queer
If we trace back the roots of a word which is now being reclaimed by the LGBTQ community, we find its origins in ideas of that which is ‘oblique’ or ‘off-centre’, that which might be ‘pervese’ or ‘odd’ and in older ideas of ‘to twist’.
During this workshop we’ll consider not the queer content of a poem, but what it might mean, more broadly, to make a poem queer, to take our poems off-centre, to make them perverse, to twist them, just slightly, so that the reader encounters them in an utterly different way.
To Look Is An Act of Choice
In his book Ways of Seeing, John Berger wrote ‘We only see what we look at. To look is an act of choice.’ During this workshop we will be exploring what happens when we change our perspective by focusing on the finer details or zooming out for the bigger picture. What do we choose to look at in poetry, and what do we choose to avoid, and how can we explore in poetry the relationship between the things we look at and ourselves?
A Fine Line
The fundamental unit of poetic form is the line, Barbara Herrnstein Smith once wrote.With the boundaries between poetry and prose getting ever more blurred the line-break is possibly becoming the one poetic device that differentiates them. What can a line break effect? How does it lend a poem its particular look or music? What’s the line doing in contemporary poetry? Looking at ways in which some poems have played with the line we will experiment with our own.