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I thoroughly enjoyed the summer school, and am now feeling re-energised and ready for a final burst of creativity over the summer…Discussing the Forward Prize Shortlists I particularly enjoyed discussing the poetry collections which have made it onto this year’s Forward Prize shortlist for best collection and best first collection (the final judging takes place in September).
Although there was only time to look at a couple of poems from each collection, we all had a go at picking our favourites.
Out of the four collections up for ‘best first collection’ I think I would vote for The Perseverance by Raymond Antrobus, and for ‘best collection’, I’d vote for Ilya Kaminsky’s Deaf Republic, though some might argue that this is more like a playscript.
MMU also prides itself on strong partnerships with businesses and organisations at a regional, national and international level, and which include the BBC and IBM.
Many of its degree courses include a year-long work placement with these organisations – something the university believes aids its high employment rate for graduates.
I’ve certainly got better at coming up with effective titles, and possibly also a bit braver in accepting (or sometimes rejecting!
) feedback, and I hope I’m a little more willing to ‘just write’ and try new things, even if I don’t know where they’ll take me!
I’d say the whole MA has been useful for me in that regard.
My aim, when I began the MA two years ago, was to find my ‘voice’ and decide what style of poetry I should focus on, what style I am ‘best’ at, and at first I was a little resistant to tasks such as ‘write a sonnet’ or ‘write in iambic pentameter’ but the process of trying (and often failing!
These three questions are ones which I’m sure every poet grapples with, and I’ve certainly had my fair share of grappling this year.
It’s helpful to pause and look back every now and then, so here are my reflections on taking part in the #100rejections challenge…