Introduction to Poetry Reviewing Workshop: Poetry Critics of Colour

  • Saturday 19 June, 11.00am
  • Online
  • Tickets: Free

This free online workshop will give participants insight into what makes a great poetry review.

Taking place on Saturday 19 June as part of the Diversifying Irish Poetry project (DIP), this free online workshop is primarily aimed at people interested in applying for the DIP Poetry Critics mentorship scheme. It is designed for people who are new to reviewing poetry, or who have some experience writing about poetry.

Led by poet, critic, dramatist, and mentor, Dzifa Benson, this two-hour workshop will give insight into what makes a great poetry review, exploring aspects such as style, tone, word choice, quotation, structure, and more. It will also cover questions of how to pitch your work, and what to expect working with an editor.

How do we approach a book of poetry in order to write about it? Where do we start? What questions do we need to ask of the poetry? Of ourselves? Of the reader of the review? All these questions will be answered, and participants will be given the opportunity to workshop their own writing (if they wish).

Participants will also be sent a PDF of a poetry book ahead of the workshop, which they will be asked to read and make some initial notes on for discussion at the workshop (a full review is not required of participants).

To apply for a place on this workshop, please send a brief statement of interest (300-500 words), outlining who you are and why you would like to attend the workshop to by midnight 7 June.

As this workshop is part of the DIP project, applicants should self-identify as belonging to a minority ethnic background and as non-white. Applicants who are Irish, resident in Ireland, and/or with strong ties to Ireland through family, study, work, or migration will be given first priority.

Dzifa Benson is a multi-disciplinary artist whose work intersects science, art, the body and ritual which she explores through poetry, theatre-making, performance, essays, and criticism. She has performed her work nationally and internationally in many contexts such as: artist in residence at the Courtauld Institute of Art; producer of a poetry in performance event responding to David Hockney’s work in Tate Britain; producer and host of a literature and music experience in the Dissenters Gallery of Kensal Green Cemetery and core artist in BBC Africa Beyond’s cross-arts project, Translations. Her work has been published and presented in The Poetry Review, the Guardian, the Financial Times, the Telegraph, Royal Opera House, the Bush Theatre and the House of Commons. She is a widely published poet whose most recent publication is in Staying Human, the latest in Bloodaxe Books’ celebrated series of anthologies. Dzifa abridged the National Youth Theatre’s 2021 production of Othello in collaboration with Olivier award-winning director Miranda Cromwell and is working on a commissioned play, Black Mozart/White Chevalier. She has an MA in Text & Performance from Birkbeck and RADA and is also a Ledbury Critic.

Deadline for expressions of interest: midnight, Monday 7 June.