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To satisfy the forever-hungry poet in me, I enrolled in two courses and am halfway through the first, Hearing Voices, through the Poetry School.

Image courtesy of the Poetry School

Run online via CAMPUS, the school’s social platform, five assignments are set over 10 weeks with no live chats, which makes it ideal for us international students. The tutor is Kathryn Simmonds, a British poet and short story writer with her most recent collection, The Visitations, published by Seren.

Inspiration for the course came from Tony Hoagland’s The Art of Voice: Poetic Principles and Practice and Kathryn shared this quote from the American poet in the first assignment:

One of the most difficult to define elements in poetry is voice, the distinctive linguistic presentation of an individual speaker…When we hear a distinctive voice in a poem, our full attention is aroused and engaged, because we suspect that here, now, at last, we may learn how someone else does it – that is, how they live, breathe, think, feel, and talk.

The prompts have produced some amazing work and I love being introduced to new poets. The first assignment focused on our voices, the second those of family and the third, voice and vulnerability. So far my poems explore my recent cancer experience and no doubt will form part of the collection I’m developing. I’ll share details of the second course shortly but in the meantime, never stop learning I say.

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