Journey to the centre of the poem

Mon 24 April 2023 - Sat 29 April 2023
Tutors / Vanessa Lampert & Vicky Morris
Guest Reader / Kathryn Bevis
Course Fee / From £ per person
Genre / Poetry
Language / English

“Poetry uses language to take us to a place beyond language” – Thomas C. Foster.

How might we define the nature of the poem’s heart? How can we understand its journey in order to craft our own work more skilfully? And how can we harness a poem’s first draft to take more control over its ultimate destination? Through a wide range of stimulating writing exercises, discussion and close reading of an exciting selection of contemporary poems, we’ll consider these questions and more. We’ll cover vital tips on editing, the mechanics, lyricism and music of a poem, and how it can be better crafted to reach the heart of a reader. Be you a fledgling poet, or already well on the wing, leave the week inspired, with budding new drafts and fresh ideas to make your poems fly.

Booking for this retreat via this link.


Vanessa Lampert

Vanessa Lampert is an acupuncturist and poet from Oxfordshire. Her first full collection Say It With Me will be published by Seren in April 2023. She has an MA in Writing Poetry from Poetry School London and Newcastle University. Since 2019 she has won the Café Writers prize, the Edward Thomas prize, the Sentinel prize, and the Ver Poetry prize twice, and placed second in the Fish, Yeovil, Oxford Brookes, Ware, and Kent & Sussex prizes. She was commended in the National Poetry Competition 2020 and is nominated in the Best Single Poem category of the 2023 Forward Prize.

Vanessa’s work has recently been published in Magma, The Moth, The Oxford Times and Poetry Wales. She co-edits The Alchemy Spoon magazine and has taught children in schools and for Learn with Leaders in India. She has run workshops for Aldeburgh Poetry Festival, Poetry School London, Hive South Yorkshire, and Stanza groups nationwide. Her pamphlet On Long Loan was published by Live Canon in 2020.

Vicky Morris

Vicky Morris is a British/Welsh poet, mentor and creative educator from north Wales. Her debut pamphlet If All This Never Happened (Southword Editions 2021) was a winner of the Munster Fool for Poetry International Chapbook Competition and was shortlisted for Best Poetry Pamphlet in the Saboteur Awards 2021. Her poems have appeared widely in magazines and journals, including: The Rialto, Poetry Review, Poetry Wales and The North. She is the editor of five anthologies of poetry and fiction by emerging young writers.

Vicky has been placed in various competitions including first place in the Prole Laureate Competition 2019 and the Aurora Prize 2020. She was recently shortlisted for the Mairtin Crawford Award for Poetry 2022 and highly commended in the Liverpool Poetry Prize 2022. For the last 15 years, Vicky has built opportunities for young writers, founding Hive in 2016 for writers aged 14 to 30. Through Hive she has mentored many emerging young poets who’ve received accolades such as the New Poets Prize and the Young Northern Writes Award. Her work developing young writers earned her a Sarah Nulty Award in 2019. She is a recent Arvon/Jerwood mentee.

Guest Reader

Kathryn Bevis

Kathryn Bevis is a poet and poetry teacher, former Hampshire Poet Laureate, and founder of The Writing School Online. She was the Selected Poet for Magma (the Solitude issue) and her poems have appeared widely in magazines and journals, including: Poetry Wales, Poetry Review, Poetry Ireland ReviewThe London Magazine, and Mslexia. They have also featured on BBC Radio 4.

Kathryn’s poems have won the Poets & Players Competition and the Against the Grain Competition. Recently, she co-won the Mairtín Crawford Award for Poetry 2022 and the Poetry Society Member’s Competition, and won first and second prize in the Second Light Poetry Competition and York Poetry Prize. Kathryn designs and delivers poetry workshops for adults online and in mental health settings, substance-misuse recovery settings, and prisons. Flamingo is her debut pamphlet, published by Seren.

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