Masterclass Workshops 2017

We are delighted to be offering two Masterclass Workshops at this year's Poetry Book Fair on the 30th September 2017! Booking is essential - you can reserve a place by emailing us on where we will arrange payment to confirm your booking. The workshops will be held at the times specified below, in a workshop room on site at Conway Hall itself during the day of the fair.

with Michael Schmidt
11.30am-2pm, £35

C.H. Sisson called translation “fishing in other men’s waters”. He translated from languages he knew. Contemporary poets often work from languages they hardly know, drawn by what they imagine a poem has to offer, the doors it might open. How do we get into poetry we cannot access on a primary level? What authority can such translations have? Michael Schmidt has translated ‘from the Aztec’ with only basic intuitions of Nahuatl; he wrote a tome on classical Greek poetry with hardly even rudimentary Greek, and is currently writing about the Gilgamesh Epic, most translated of ancient poems, translated by writers without knowledge of the original. What benefit do poets get from such oblique imaginings? We’ll work on creating our own oblique translations, taking the ‘original’ for a ride to see where we end up.

Michael Schmidt OBE FRSL is the founder and editorial and managing director of Carcanet Press Limited and the general editor of PN Review. 

with Vahni Capildeo
2.30pm-5pm, £35

The idea of ‘voice’ in poetry raises vexed and exciting questions. Today, poets may be watchful about
developing, or betraying, their ‘identity’; reckless, or on guard against, ‘appropriating others’. However, something in any writer remains on watch; listening at the sentinel’s post; vulnerable, if not open, to familiar and strange visitants. This session lets you off being on guard, or having to declare yourself. In this workshop, you will be encouraged to find other voices within yourself. You will experiment with creating personæ who ask questions about some ‘other’ character. About someone whose responses are unpredictable; someone on your conscience, in your dreams – or nightmares. We shall work together on identifying your desired or feared, unknown or unknowable, subject.

Vahni Capildo won the Forward Prize for Best Collection in 2016 for her book Measures of Expatriation.

Please email asap to reserve a place!