Poet and tutor. Five collections published. Co-founder of The Poetry School and Poetry London, and its editor from 1989 to 2005. Selected as a Next Generation Poet 2004. I give readings of my own work nationally and internationally, and class talks and readings in the UK, US and Mexico. Tutoring work includes Arvon open and school courses, courses for The Poetry School and at Tate Modern where I teach Poetry from Art courses in the galleries.
I have published five collections of poetry and co-edited an anthology of new poetry from students of The Poetry School. My collections are What the Water Gave Me: Poems after Frida Kahlo (Seren, 2010), The Treekeeper's Tale (Seren, 2008), The Huntress (Seren, 2005), The Zoo Father (Seren, 2001), and Heart of a Deer (Enitharmon, 1998). The anthology is Tying the Song (Enitharmon, 2000). The Zoo Father was a Poetry Book Society recommendation and is also published bilingually in Mexico.
Three of my collections were shortlisted for the TS Eliot Prize and were Books of the Year in the Times Literary Supplement, Independent and Observer. I have won several Arts Council of England awards and received awards from the Royal Literary Fund and Society of Authors. I was the Royal Literary Fund Fellow at Middlesex University 2007-9.
I am delighted to provide a reference for Pascale Petit whom I have known, personally and professionally, for over 15 years.
Pascale's phenomenal success with her last two poetry collections, shortlisted on both occasions for the
T.S. Eliot Award, has confirmed her status as one of Britain's most original and imaginative poets. This success has been due, not only to her compelling talent, but to her absolute dedication to her writing and to her experience as a critic, an editor and a highly engaging teacher of poetry. Her passion for poetry from other languages and cultures and her training as a visual artist have added dimensions to her work that enrich her use of language, myth and image, and push at the borders of contemporary taste and fashion. She is a startling and exemplary poet.
Pascale is able to inspire these same qualities in her students. As a tutor, she is both gentle and challenging, encouraging and empowering, and unfailingly expands her students' horizons. She not only looks for greater passion and depth, but also for clean structure, a sensitive use of form and good prosody. Her attention to detail is unfailing. Pascale was a co-founder of The Poetry School and taught many successful courses for the School, as well as giving seminars and tutorials. Poets who have worked with her have been exceptionally enthusiastic in their appreciation and, having co-tutored workshops with her myself, I have also enjoyed the benefit of Pascale's insight and approach. Pascale and I co-edited the School's first anthology of new work and working with her was an enormous pleasure, free of hassle or irritation, due to her patience and seriousness, coupled with good humour. Poetry London, also co-founded by Pascale, has emerged, under her editorship, as one of the foremost poetry magazines in Britain, with a growing reputation in the US and publishing renowned international writers new to British audiences.
I would strongly recommend Pascale and am confident that she would be highly conscientious and excellent in any teaching capacity.
Founder and Coordinator of The Poetry School
I have now invited Pascale Petit several times to come and read her poems or talk about the process of writing poems to both my Creative Writing Undergraduate and Postgraduate students. On every occasion, the feedback from the students has been uniformly excellent. They were both compelled and intrigued by her highly evolved presentation skills. In April of this year she came to do a reading: the lecture hall was packed. Then, in the afternoon, she ran a seminar of some thirty students. I particularly wanted Pascale to talk to the students because a study of her technique and poetic transformations has been built into our curriculum; one student who attended is also doing a PhD on The Writing of Pascale Petit.
Pascale held the attention of the students brilliantly. She close-read five of her own poems and elicited good strong responses from the audience. It was a unique opportunity for students to work closely with a distinguished poet; to learn about her working methodology; to learn about her range of stimuli; to learn about the process by which she brings words to the page; to learn about the patient business of drafting and redrafting. Pascale conducted the seminar with immense charm and personal generosity, with patience and integrity, and there is no doubt in my mind that this was a major learning experience for all who attended. I will definitely invite her again.
Senior Lecturer in Creative Studies
Bath Spa University
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