Experience the wide variety of poetry brought to you by the queer contemporary publishing imprint, Fourteen Poems over the course of 4 weeks. Learn new skills in writing and performing poetry, with Remi Graves, Jack Cooper, Oluwaseun Olayiwola and Reece Lyons.
Each weekly evening class will focus on a different aspect of the art-form, with a chance to hear poets read their work and reflect on technique and meaning-making in a relaxed forum.
Explore the natural world as a space for queer intimacy. How does a queer person interact with an undulating landscape? What freedoms or restrictions does the outdoors present for queerness? Using poems by Derrick Austin, Mary Oliver, Seán Hewitt and others we’ll unpick the potential for connection, introspection and freedom in nature. What does an open field invite from us? How can we learn more about ourselves in the presence of the sea? We’ll write our own poems to begin the search.
Remi Graves is a London based poet and drummer. A former Barbican Young Poet, Remi’s work has been commissioned by St Paul’s Cathedral, Barbican and BBC Radio 4. Remi has led courses at The Poetry School and facilitates in schools and community spaces around London. Remi has performed at Cheltenham Literature Festival, Tate Modern and more. Remi’s debut pamphlet with your chest was published in 2022 by fourteen poems.
Week 2 (09.03.2023 | 6.30 - 8.30 PM): Creative constraints / Jack Cooper
The hardest part of writing a poem is starting in the first place. When you can write about *anything*, how do you settle on *something*? In this workshop, Jack Cooper will share how prompts and a personal ‘word bank’ can act as hooks that catch your imagination, letting you put pen to paper when you feel creatively blocked. He will touch on the Japanese literary tradition of Uta-awase, guide attendees through writing exercises that will generate new poetic ideas, and explore how contemporary poets such as Ellora Sutton responded to prompts.
Jack Cooper is a science communicator with a background in biomedical research. His poetry explores a breadth of topics, but he has a soft spot for writing about science, science fiction, local history, and the Saints. His unpublished collection, ‘Break the Nose of Every Beautiful Thing’, won an Eric Gregory Award in 2022. His poetry has been discussed on BBC Radio 4, commissioned by the Science Museum and Poetry Society, and performed at the V&A. The Poetry Society educational resource “We Are Cellular” uses his poetry to teach senior school students about metaphor and cell biology.
In this workshop, we will be debunking the myth between the ‘page vs stage’ divide within poetry and teaching poets how to perform their work to captivate an audience. Reece will demonstrate her personal approach, which lies somewhere between acting and being yourself, sharing techniques on how to incorporate acting techniques, such as Psychological Gesture by Chekhov, into poetry performances. Participants will have the opportunity to showcase their work and receive constructive feedback from Reece and other participants on how to strengthen their performance skills and better engage with their audience, whether it be for poetry slams or promoting their work.
Reece Lyons is an award awinning transgender actress, writer and poet based in London. In 2018, she was a Roundhouse Poetry Slam Finalist, where her poem ‘I am a Woman and I have a Penis’ went viral, accumulating over 4 million views online. In 2020, she appeared alongside legendary poet Professor Benjamin Zephaniah on the BAFTA award winning spoken word TV show, ‘Life & Rhymes’. In 2020/21, she was cast as the lead role in Travis Alabanza’s one woman show, ‘Overflow’. A hilarious and devastating tour of women’s bathrooms which debuted at the Bush Theatre to critical acclaim and was later streamed online in over 22 countries. In 2022, Reece won an Off West End Theatre Award (OFFIE) for her Lead Performance in the show.
Week 4 (23.03.2023 | 6.30 - 8.30 PM)The Stolen Erotic / Oluwaseun S Olayiwola In this workshop we’ll read through some erotic poems, discuss some “touch-y” topics when it comes to eroticism, and use other poet’s as guides through which we may enact a more erotic playfulness and syntax in our writing. We’ll conduct some exercises “stealing” some forms from other poets, as well as have exercises to generate our own poems.
Oluwaseun S Olayiwola is a poet, critic, and choreographer living in London. His poems have been published in Oxford Poetry, Tate, and bath magg with forthcoming publications in the PN Review and Poetry Review. In 2023, he placed 2nd in the Ledbury Poetry Competition. His criticism has been published in the Telegraph, Poetry School, and the TLS. Seun has an MFA in Choreography from the Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance, where he was a Fulbright Scholar.