Poetry Business News

Apr 13, 2017

A new fund has been set up by the family of the late smith|doorstop poet - David Attwooll, who sadly passed away in August 2016. 


David's pamphlet, Surfacing, won the Poetry Business Competition in 2012, judged by Simon Armitage. David was also on the Poetry Business Writing School, where he was admired as an outstanding poet and was loved for his kindness, generosity and insight.


The David Attwooll Memorial Fund has been set up by David’s family with the aim to continue David’s legacy and promote new and/or young talent in the creative arts.


The Fund will grant the annual David Attwooll Award, for talented people to participate in Arvon Foundation’s poetry courses. The Award will be administered and reported on by the Arvon Grants Scheme, please see their website for more information: http://www.arvon.org
If income allows, the Fund will also support innovative collaboration between poets, writers, musicians, and artists.
If you wish to contribute, you can make a payment online to:

sort code:              08 92 99

account number:   6582 2838

or write a cheque payable to: David Attwooll Memorial Fund, 90 Divinity Road, Oxford OX4 1LN


During April and May 2017, The Poetry Business will also donate all profits from sales of David’s pamphlet, Surfacing to The David Attwooll Memorial Fund. You can buy a copy of Surfacing here.

Mar 17, 2017

Calling all poets under 35! We're putting together a feature for issue 58 of The North magazine of new and exciting poetry by poets under the age of 35. The submission window opens on April 1st 2017.

Mar 16, 2017

Fundraising Co-ordinator
Responsible to: Directors and Business Manager
Responsible for: generating funds to support project activity for Arts Council England Funded project ‘Future Poetry’. This involves developing and managing relationships with commercial businesses and potential donors and research and applying for funding opportunities provided by trusts and foundations to achieve fundraising and income generation targets.
Freelance for 12 months with potential to extend position. 
Hours of work: part-time, 7.5 hours per week 
Salary: £25,000 pro rata
Key responsibilities:
• Liaise with tPB directors and Business Manager to discern which elements of Future Poetry have the potential to be funded by commercial sponsors and identify and approach appropriate sponsors with mutually interested customer base.
• Develop and cultivate relationships with local businesses. Build on these relationships offering sponsorship opportunities.
• Develop fundraising campaigns (of varying sizes and durations) linked to Future Poetry projects
• Research funding opportunities from trusts and foundations and develop, write and submit applications to trusts and foundations working closely with the Business Manager.  
• Generate funds to supplement and extend project activity for Future Poetry, such as reading tours, and longer-term build relationships with commercial sponsors who will support tPB on an ongoing basis, to help the organisation work towards sustainability.
• Work alongside other staff to contribute to the development of The Poetry Business as a whole.

Person Specification
• Must have demonstrable experience of generating funds for a third sector organisation.
• Able to communicate effectively in a variety of written and verbal formats.
• Extensive experience of budgeting for projects.
• Confident fluent communicator with excellent interpersonal skills.
• Good understanding of relationship management with commercial sponsors.?
• Experience of fundraising for or working with literature organisations.
To apply: please e-mail a CV with covering letter outlining your suitability for the role to ellen@poetrybusiness.co.uk by midnight on Friday 31st March 2017.

Mar 7, 2017

Come and hear a rare reading from ALL FOUR of our 2016 Laureate's Choice poets: Geraldine Clarkson, Mark Pajak, Tom Sastry and..all the way from Dubai...Zeina Hashem Beck! 


Friday 12th May, 19.30 start 

The Betsey Trotwood, Farringdon Road London 

£5 entry includes 1/3 off all pamphlets

BUY TICKETS HERE https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/the-laureates-choice-poets-in-london-tickets-32505828809



Feb 28, 2017

On Tuesday March 14th 2017 two smith|doorstop poets, Jim Caruth and Stuart Pickford, will be reading at Writers in the Bath at the Bath Hotel, Sheffield, alongside Kate Carruthers Thomas. 

Feb 24, 2017

David Wilson, author of Slope, published by smith|doorstop in 2016 will be reading at 'Border Crossings' as part of StAnza poetry festival 2017 alongside Scottish-Algerian poet Janette Ayachi. 


David Wilson is a climber, and his debut collection Slope celebrates all that makes mountaineering a compulsion. Out of this Wilson develops themes of risk, loss and motivation.


The reading will be held at The Town Hall, Queens Gardens - Supper Room on Thursday 2nd March at 11:30am - 12:30pm. Tickets are £4.00 (£3.00 concs)


Buy a copy of Slope by David Wilson in our online shop here.


Find out more about the event on the StAnza website here. 

Feb 14, 2017

Some tips for putting your pamphlet together from smith|doorstop poet Suzannah Evans


Read some tips on putting together your entry for the International Book & Pamphlet Competition from smith|doorstop poet Suzannah Evans, who was one of the four winners in the 2011/12 Competition with her collection, Confusion Species



Feb 13, 2017
Dear readers,
we hope you are all enjoying issue 57 of the North magazine. 
We would just like to acknowledge that Elizabeth Briggs' poem - Revision (Revised) in the 'Dove Cottage Young Poets: an Introduction' article is after Carolyn Jess-Cooke's poem I failed, which was used as in a workshop with the Dove Cottage Young Poets. Carolyn's poem can be read below: 
Yesterday, I Failed
by Carolyn Jess-Cooke

I failed, and the failing was great thereof.
I failed all the way to the sulphur cliffs of cynicism, then bungee-jumped.
I shot a hole in one in failure.
I failed and changed the course of history.
I failed admirably, catastrophically, unremittingly, relentlessly, perspicaciously,
deliciously, spaciously, and with the dexterity of the common impala.
I did not merely stall, pause, or change my mind –
I failed, like any serious attempt at oil painting in a wind machine.
I failed, but the crops did not.
I failed in a field, and filed as I fooled.
I walked right up to failure, kicked it in the shins, and insulted its mother.
I fell in love with failure. We got married and raised a family of failures.
I failed to the sum of the square roots of any two sides of an isosceles triangle.
I failed in the key of D flat.
I failed my heart out, I failed until my lungs burned, my brain rattled, my skin flapped
like a rag against my bones and my tongue uttered only ‘failure’…
I failed, much to the regret of the management.
I went scuba-diving in failure, I camped under failure, I hiked to the summit of
failure, I painted the floor with superglue while failure was sleeping and when
it woke up…. I laughed.
I failed in several languages.
I added failure on Facebook.
I failed from caveman to Homo Sapiens.
I failed stupendously, outlandishly, biblically, savagely, juicily, Byzantinely,
heroically, intergalactically.
I failed in hard copy, fax, text, email, Skype, and podcast.
I failed to the soundtrack of James Bond.
I failed as magnesium is to water, as the Apocalypse is to a Saturday morning lie-in,
as Godzilla is to the streets of Tokyo.
I failed, and I failed,
but at least
I tried.
Feb 9, 2017
Please come to a special Writing Day with Ann and Peter Sansom of the Poetry Business
'the best poetry teachers in the world' -- the Guardian.
Saturday 11th March 2017.  10:15am to 3:45pm
Warwickspace, 71 Coten End, Warwick CV34 4NU
£35 / £30 concs.
Jan 31, 2017

'Complicity' one of our 2016 Laureate's Choice Pamphlets, has been named the 2016 Winter pamphlet Choice by the Poetry Society. You can read more on the Poetry Book Society website and you can order the pamphlet here. Many congratulations to Tom Sastry!  

Nov 8, 2016
The Poetry Business is offering an intensive course of study, workshops and peer-led discussion, over 18 months for up to 12 selected poets.

The Writing School is an Arts Council initiative open to more experienced poets.  A customised form of the MA that Peter Sansom taught for ten years, it is a highly-structured advanced course, which depends upon the seriousness, experience and commitment of the writers who take part.  The main tutors are Ann and Peter Sansom, with guest tutor Michael Laskey.

The course will be useful to any poet who needs direction and well-informed peer support, and particularly to those who have reached a stage where they wish to reassess their own practice.

This will be the seventh in a series of extremely successful courses.

How to apply

- Applicants will normally have published at least one collection, but exceptions may be made, e.g. where work has appeared widely in magazines.

- There will be eight Writing School days, beginning in February 2017 and covering an 18 month period. Each day will comprise writing exercises, a study session and critical workshop, and will take place in our offices in Sheffield, usually every second month (usually a Saturday 10.15am to 4pm). Dates of all the workshops will be agreed in advance.

- Between sessions, you will work both independently and in small groups: to comment on each other’s work and to discuss poems and aspects of poetry. This can be done by email or by meeting together.

- A reading list will cover all periods, but with an emphasis on contemporary poetry.

- Assignments will be demanding but enjoyable and poem-centred.  Areas the course is likely to cover include form, translation, sequence and editing.

- You will contribute to the construction of the course (with your own reading list and by swapping favourite collections to discuss with other writers); and you will lead a discussion of a poet or some aspect of contemporary poetry.

- By the end of the course you will have produced a draft manuscript of poems. We also ask for a self-appraisal of your writing development over the period.

- There is no formal assessment, but mentoring and a final editorial session will be available.

- A Writing School Weekend is expected to take place in Autumn 2018 in the Lake District, closing with a course-members’ reading at The Wordsworth Trust, Grasmere.

Course fee: £850. This can be paid in two instalments. Please do not let shortage of funds prevent you from applying.

Closing date for applications: 30th November 2016

Please include:

- Eight poems (published or unpublished).

- A short covering letter stating why you want to come on the course.

- A short cv with publication detail.

-The titles of three individual poetry collections which are important to you.

Send your application by post to:

The Writing School, The Poetry Business, 32-40 Bank Street, Sheffield S1 2DS

or by e-mail to:


For more details or to discuss the course informally, please email, or ring 0114 3463037.

The Writing School gave me space and a detailed structure to focus on my own practice as a poet -- and although I didn't know it at the time, I finished the manuscript that became my first full-length collection while on the course. There was a brilliant reading list as long as your arm and really imaginative ways of working with poems and poetry.  The other participants were highly skilled and experienced poets and I felt very lucky to be part of the group.  Ann and Peter were amazing throughout - professional, supportive and genuinely interested in helping us as writers. It was a wonderful experience.

--Kim Moore


Oct 18, 2016

Mark Pajak, one of our 2016 Laureate's Choice Poets, has won the 2016 Bridport Prize with his poem 'Spitting Distance'. 

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