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.

Fire Up Your Poetry Practice

Who this event is for

  • Everyone


These online sessions will be held via Zoom.


Are you ready to take your poetry to the next level? Do you have a growing file of poems, but aren’t sure how to publish them? Are you wondering about how to get your first pamphlet together? This course aims to help you achieve your goal of being a ‘proper’ published poet, and to develop a more professional approach to your writing.

Dates and times

This is a five-week online course, with each session lasting two hours. It will be held 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. 

Tuesdays on 24 May, 31 May, 7 June, 14 June, 21 June 2022
10.30 am–12.30 pm BST (with 10-15 minute break)

Sessions and tutors

The course is divided into five two-hour sessions which can be taken as one course overall, or as separate sessions. You can find details of the full and concessionary rates below and more information about the tutors lower down on this page.

Since the course has now started, it is no longer possible to book onto the whole course, but you can join us for individual sessions by following the links below to the Brookes Online Shop and paying for your place/s (you may have to create an Online Shop account): 

  • 24 May 2022: Yes, I’m a Poet! Powering up your pamphlet for publication and being part of a poetry community. Guest tutor: Alycia Pirmohamed (poet and critic, winner of the Edwin Morgan Poetry Award, co-founder of the Scottish BAME Writers' Network). 


  • 31 May 2022: Thinking Magazines? How to get your work ready for magazines. Guest tutor: Kostya Tsolakis (poet and editor, founder of harana poetry).

    Book for Kostya's session: full price.
    Book for Kostya's session: concessionary rate (see below for details).

  • 7 June 2022: Publishing a Pamphlet. Working with different kinds of publishers, the world of publishing, what editors might look for in a publishable pamphlet and how to submit. Guest tutors: Kristen Vida Alfaro (Publishing Director of Tilted Axis Press) and Les Robinson (Director of tall-lighthouse poetry press).


  • 14 June 2022: Alternative Routes to Publication. Develop your publication opportunities through creative projects and collaborations with other writers or visual artists. Guest tutors: Susie Campbell (poet and practice-based research student).

    Book for Susie's session: full price.
    Book for Susie's session: concessionary rate (see below for details).

  • 21 June 2022: Fired up and ready to go! A chance to brainstorm and plan your next steps towards publication. Guest tutor: Mary Jean Chan (Costa Book Award for Poetry winner, 2019).


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 most examples will be drawn from within the UK. Classes are capped at 20 places to ensure a high-quality experience, so please book quickly to secure your place and avoid disappointment!

Costs and booking details

Full course (i.e. for all 5 sessions): £120. To book a place on the whole course, please visit our Online Shop:


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

Concessions (see criteria for concessions below): £10 per session or £50 for the full course.

If you are in one of the following groups, you qualify for concessionary prices:

  • full-time student
  • aged 18-25
  • claiming Universal Credit, pension credit, Personal Independence Payment (PIP), income support or job seeker's allowance
  • in receipt of working tax credit.

To apply for concessionary rates, simply select that option when paying for your place. Please note that we may ask for proof of your eligibility after booking.

If you have any questions about the course, please feel free to contact Niall or Claire via poetrycentre@brookes.ac.uk We'll be happy to hear from you!

Facilitators and tutors

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). His current book project is entitled 'Our only "felt" history': American modernism and the Civil War. You can follow Niall on Twitter.

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 tutors:

24 May: Alycia Pirmohamed is the author of Another Way to Split Water (YesYes Books & Polygon Books). Her chapbooks include Hinge (ignitionpress), a 2020 Poetry Book Society Pamphlet Recommendation and shortlisted for the Michael Marks Poetry Award, Faces that Fled the Wind (BOAAT Press), and Second Memory, co-authored with Pratyusha (Guillemot Press & Baseline Press). Alycia studied creative writing at the University of Oregon and the University of Edinburgh. In 2020, she won the Edwin Morgan Poetry Award. Alycia is the co-founder of the  Scottish BAME Writers Network. You can find her on Twitter and Instagram.

31 May: 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 MagmaperverseStrixBrittle 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. Follow Kostya on Twitter and Instagram.

7 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, Emily Berry, 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.

Kristen Vida Alfaro is Publishing Director of Tilted Axis Press. A writer and organizer, she led labor and anti-racist organizing at the Barbican. She continues this work with United Voices of the World and Art Workers Forum. In a former life, Kristen pursued (and left) a doctorate in Cinema Studies at New York University. Her writing and interviews have appeared in Logic, The Moving Image, Triple Canopy and n+1. She is based in London. You can follow her on Twitter.

14 June: Susie Campbell’s work has appeared in many UK and international journals, visual poetry anthologies and exhibitions. Recent book publications include Tenter (Guillemot Press, 2020) and Enclosures (Osmosis Press, 2021), with a new book forthcoming from Guillemot Press in 2022. She is working on a poetry practice-based PhD at Oxford Brookes. You can follow her on Twitter and Instagram.

21 June: Mary Jean Chan is the author of Flèche (Faber & Faber, 2019), which won the 2019 Costa Book Award for Poetry. 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. Born and raised in Hong Kong, Mary Jean is Senior Lecturer in Creative Writing (Poetry) at Oxford Brookes University. You can follow Mary Jean on Twitter and Instagram.

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

Follow the Poetry Centre on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook.

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.

Lit match image by 0fjd125gk87 from Pixabay.