The University of Warwick is celebrating the 10th anniversary of its The Practice of Poetry course with the publication of a collection of fifty poetry writers who have passed through or helped with the course. The book “Dove Release” reproduces the work of students who took the course alongside established poets such as Peter Blegvad, Zoë Brigley, Peter Carpenter, Jane Holland, Luke Kennard, Mimi Khalvati, Glyn Maxwell, Ruth Padel, Fiona Sampson and George Szirtes.
The book has been published by The Worple Press and the University of Warwick’s Capital Centre (Capital stands for Creativity and Performance in Teaching and Learning). Some of the writers included have won Eric Gregory Awards - founded in 1960 by the late Dr Eric Gregory for the encouragement of young poets - including Jon Morley, Liz Manuel and James Brookes.
One of the former Warwick undergraduate students with a poem in the collection is George Ttoouli whose poem Ghosts now follows: He has remained in Coventry living in the Ball Hill area and now teaches on the Warwick Practice of Poetry course.
All the houses in this city
have ghosts. The shops in Little India
and the stalls in China Town all
full of ghosts. Sometimes you’ll see a pickup
full of ghosts. Sri Lankans, Tamils,
making their way to a construction site,
under bridges or in alleys
howling with airconditioning units.
I found a line in one ghost’s poem, which read:
You can’t take the kampongs out
of the people and to me it sounded
defiant, but later I learned what it meant.
She was cute; her dad worked
for the government. At night I swim
with the ghosts in the pool by the flats,
their wakes skimming behind their empty shapes.
The University of Warwick’s Practice of Poetry has taken place in many unusual spaces across the university including science departments and laboratories as well as art galleries and nature reserves. ecently, students have written poems in and about the worlds of biology and physics thanks to a truly interdisciplinary project funded by The Capital Centre at the University called Science and Poetry. The poets worked alongside leading research scientists, and the scientists were charmed and challenged by their presence – and their questions - into fresh ways of thinking. The poets themselves were challenged and charmed by their experience of scientific knowledge and discovery.
Director of the course Professor David Morley said
“I shall never forget the look of surprise and delight when researchers at Warwick’s Centre for Magnetic Resonance made a magnet magically levitate before the eyes of these young poets, before leading them among a series of powerful magnets and explaining just what went on behind the lab’s doors. Equally unforgettable was our visit to the School of Biological Sciences in which poetry students met with and interviewed a number of leading life scientists about their research – about their life’s vocation.”
“Over the past decade I’ve facilitated The Practice of Poetry for students at Warwick. I’ve always had an eye for the practical, ecological and scientific. I’m a former scientist – an ecologist. The natural world makes the poetry of this planet. For me, the study of natural history is one way of looking at the earth’s poems.”
“This doesn’t mean that Dove Release is a book of “science poems”. It most certainly isn’t. Some poets take science imagery and use it in innovative ways, sure, but Dove Release is principally an anthology of new poems by new poets - ‘new flights and voices’ - not poems with a palpable design on readers. It’s a representation of the work that came out of these workshops both during the project and in the years of development.”
The project was supported at first by a University of Warwick Award for Teaching Excellence, then a National Teaching Fellowship from the Higher Education Academy, and finally by project funding from The Capital Centre at the University of Warwick.
The book is available from worple press http://www.worplepress.co.uk/ and is priced at £10
For further information please contact:
Peter Dunn, Head of Communications,
University of Warwick, 024 76 523708 or
07767 655860 email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Pr30 17th March 2010 PJD