Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences

Fire Up Your Poetry Practice: Professionalising your Poetry

This event has now finished. Please see our events website for details of upcoming events at Brookes.

Rainbow of pamphlets for short course 2021

Who this event is for

  • Everyone


These online sessions will be held via Zoom.


This is a five-week online course, with each session lasting two hours. The course is divided into five two-hour sessions, listed below.

The whole course option and the sessions on 1, 8, 15 and 29 June are now full, but if you would like to book individual sessions, please visit the links below. You may have to create a Shop account to book your place. If you would like to be placed on the waiting list for the whole course or individual sessions, please e-mail us: poetrycentre@brookes.ac.uk

The sessions cover:

1 June - Yes, I’m a Poet! – powering up your pamphlet for publication and being part of a poetry community. Guest speaker: Isabelle Baafi (poet and editor, Magma board member and Obsidian Foundation Fellow). This session is now full.

8 June - Thinking Magazines? – how to get your work ready for magazines. Guest speaker: Kostya Tsolakis (poet and editor, founder of harana poetry). This session is now full.

15 June - Publishing a Pamphlet – what editors might look for in a publishable pamphlet and how to submit. Guest speaker: Les Robinson (Director of tall-lighthouse poetry press). This session is now full.

22 June - Working with Other People – develop your practice through collaborations and projects. Guest speaker: Susie Campbell (poet and practice-based research student). Book this session via the Brookes Online Shop.

29 June - Fired up and ready to go! – a chance to brainstorm and plan your next steps towards publication. Guest Speaker: Mary Jean Chan (Costa Book Award for Poetry winner, 2019). This session is now full.

This course is designed for writers aged 18+ who are working towards their first poetry pamphlet (or chapbook), and wider publication of their poems.

International participants are welcome, but please be aware that examples will be drawn from within the UK.

Classes are capped at 20 places to ensure a high-quality experience. Book quickly to secure your place.

How it works:

The course is divided into five two-hour sessions which can be taken as one course overall, or as separate sessions.

Price: Full course (i.e. for all 5 sessions)  £120
The full course option is now fully booked.

Single session (i.e. for each session booked)  £35
To book individual sessions, visit the links above.

Location: Online via Zoom. Participants joining the online sessions will need to have access to a computer, laptop or tablet with a microphone and webcam, as well as a reliable broadband connection. 

Dates: 1 June, 8 June, 15 June, 22 June, 29 June 2021.

Time: 10.30 am–12.30 pm BST (with 15 minute break).   

Who is involved:

Resident facilitators:

Dr Niall Munro is Director of the Oxford Brookes Poetry Centre and ignitionpress. He is a Senior Lecturer in American Literature and the author of Hart Crane's Queer Modernist Aesthetic (Palgrave, 2015) and, together with Kate McLoughlin and Catherine Gilbert, a co-editor of On Commemoration: Global Perspectives Upon Remembering War (Peter Lang, 2020). He has co-convened a number of conferences about modern and contemporary poetry including ‘New to Next Generation Poets 2014: Three Decades of British and Irish Poetry’ at the Institute of English Studies in London. His current book project is entitled 'Our only "felt" history': American modernism and the Civil War.

Claire Cox is Co-Founder and Editor at ignitionpress. She is also a published poet, having completed an MA Creative Writing at Brookes where she was awarded the Blackwell’s Prize for Best Student. She is currently undertaking a part-time poetry-practice PhD with Royal Holloway, and was one of three winning poets included in Primers: Volume Five (Nine Arches Press, 2020). She also won the Wigtown Alastair Reid Pamphlet Prize with A Book of Days (Wigtown Festival Company, 2020).

Guest speakers:

1 June: Isabelle Baafi is a writer, poet and critic from London. Her debut pamphlet Ripe (ignitionpress, 2020) was the Poetry Book Society’s Pamphlet Choice for Spring 2021.

Isabelle was a member of the 2019-20 London Library’s Emerging Writers Programme, and the 2020 Griot’s Well Programme with Writerz and Scribez. She is also a Board Member at Magma, an Obsidian Foundation Fellow and Ledbury Poetry Critic 2021.

8 June: Kostya Tsolakis is a London-based poet and journalist, born and raised in Athens, Greece. His debut poetry pamphlet Ephebos was published by ignitionpress in November 2020.

In 2019, Kostya won the Oxford Brookes International Poetry Competition (EAL category). His poems have appeared in Magma, perverse, Strix, Brittle Star and Wasafiri, among others. He founded and co-edits harana poetry, the online magazine for poets writing in English as a second or parallel language, and is deputy poetry editor at Ambit.

15 June: Les Robinson is Managing Editor of ignitionpress, and Director of tall-lighthouse, an independent poetry press publishing full collections of poetry, pamphlets and anthologies with over 100 titles issued from more than 60 poets.

tall-lighthouse has a reputation for publishing new talent, being the first in the UK to publish Helen Mort, Sarah Howe, Liz Berry, Adam O’Riordan, Rhian Edwards, Emily Berry, Kate Potts, Jay Bernard, John McCullough, and Vidyan Ravinthiran among others.

Les has also been a Trustee of the Poetry Book Society (PBS) and edited the 20/20 series of poetry pamphlets for EYEWEAR which was shortlisted for the 2015 Michael Marks pamphlet publisher award.

22 June: Susie Campbell has published four pamphlets: Tenter (Guillemot Press, 2020), The Bitters (Dancing Girl Press, 2014), The Frock Enquiry (Annexe, 2015) and I return to you (Sampson Low, 2019). Her work was included in the Museum of Futures exhibitions of avant-garde Visual Poetry 2017- 2019. She was commissioned to create and perform new work in honour of Tsering Woeser, one of the Writers at Risk supported by English PEN, for the English PEN Modern Literature Festival in 2017.

Susie was poet-in-residence for the 2017-18 Mellon-Sawyer series: Post-War: Commemoration, Reconstruction, Reconciliation, from which Tenter emerged. She helps to facilitate the Oxford Brookes Veterans' Poetry Workshop run by the Oxford Brookes Poetry Centre. She is currently studying for a practice-based poetry PhD at Oxford Brookes. 

29 June: Mary Jean Chan is the author of Flèche (Faber & Faber, 2019), which won the 2019 Costa Book Award for Poetry, and was shortlisted in 2020 for the International Dylan Thomas Prize, the John Pollard Foundation International Poetry Prize, the Jhalak Prize and the Seamus Heaney Centre First Collection Poetry Prize, It is also a finalist for the 2021 Lambda Literary Awards. She won the 2018 Geoffrey Dearmer Prize for the title poem ‘Flèche’ and was shortlisted for the Forward Prize for Best Single Poem in 2017 and 2018, receiving an Eric Gregory Award in 2019.

Mary Jean was guest co-editor alongside Will Harris of The Poetry Review, and is contributing editor at Oxford Poetry. She will be Writer-in-Residence at the Nanyang Technological University School of Humanities in 2022. Born and raised in Hong Kong, she is Senior Lecturer in Creative Writing (Poetry) at Oxford Brookes University. 

If you have any questions about the course, please email Claire and Niall: poetrycentre@brookes.ac.uk

This information is correct at the time of publishing and every attempt is made to ensure its accuracy. However, please be aware that unavoidable alterations to the programme may be made due to unforeseen circumstances.