The makings of a poem
I have just attended an Arvon course at Lumb Bank. The course concentrated on what distinguishes poetry from any other kind of writing. Why write a poem, not a short story, an essay, or a letter to the newspaper? The tutors stressed the importance of getting beyond the personal, anecdotal and accidental. They offered practical help in shapes and forms; rhythm and metre; and voices; as well as on one-to-one textual work.
David Constantine has published many volumes of poetry, a novel and three short story collections. His latest volume of poems, Nine Fathom Deep, and a collection of short stories, The Shieling, were both published in 2009.
Karen McCarthy’s The Worshipful Company of Pomegranate Slicers was a New Statesman Book of the Year and a PBS Recommendation. She has edited two literary anthologies and is a contributing editor and reviewer for Wasafiri.