What makes a poem, and is it different from the stuff that goes all the way to the other side of the page? This workshop, whose title is stolen from a poem by the Scottish poet Tom Leonard, will explore the

elements that make poetry an effective medium and encourage participants to migrate to the zone where poetry, as opposed to prose, is possible. We will workshop participants’ own poems in a supportive and positive atmosphere and we will also be looking at a range of contemporary poems of many different types to gain an understanding of the range of possible approaches to poetry.

Peter Sirr has published ten collections, of which the most recent are The Gravity Wave (2019), a Poetry Book Society recommendation and Sway (2016), versions of poems from the troubadour tradition. The Rooms (2014) was shortlisted for the Irish Times Poetry Now Award and the Pigott Poetry Prize. The Thing Is (2009), was awarded the Michael Hartnett Prize in 2011. He is a member of Aosdána.

Each poem seems written with immense care, not only to arrange words scintillatingly, but also to preserve the briefest, most otherwise-ephemeral details. Reading these poems, we’re reminded that exactly where we’re vulnerable is where change is possible.’— from the PBS judge’s citation for The Gravity Wave. ‘Everyone who takes poetry seriously should read him attentively.’–Bernard O’Donoghue, The Irish Times.

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