Writing Poetry

Finding the Poem with Paul Lyalls

Complete beginners to poetry sought; relative newcomers very welcome; seasoned poets, come along too! This is a course for anyone who wants to liberate their creativity and immerse themselves in the joy of language. Playful, fun, entertaining, enlightening – explore your word power with Paul Lyalls.

A note to prose writers: have you ever wondered what it is like to write in the poetic form? Perhaps you write in prose automatically, but would like to try to use language in another way. If your fiction needs a lift, if your life-writing needs lilt, if your central characters don’t quite sing (or even if they do!) you can free your writing through poetry.

Paul has five sets of workshops which can be taken in any order:

Set 1: A fistful of poems...

Week 1) Sparks that ignite every time

Week 2) What's so funny?

Week 3) The magic in everything we do

Week 4) The confessions of possessions

Week 5 ) Fairytales, song lyrics: meaning and reconvening

Set 2: For a few poems more...

Week 1) The eternal truths

Week 2) Journeys and the travelogue in conversation

Week 3) Sorry not sorry

Week 4) Image detectives

Week 5) As the saying goes

Week 6) Tone and setting – gambling not betting

Set 3: The good, the bard and the unlikely...
Week 1) The people steeple
Week 2) Heart and soul of the people we know (not T'pau)
Week 3) Rooms
Week 4) Wants and desire via road trip to India
Week 5) The cinema within a moment
Week 6) The ghost in you (not The Furs)

Set 4: Writers on the storm...

1) Making headlines for all the write reasons
2) Camera, lights, action and the kodak moment. The writer's camera
3) Guilty pleasure repent at leisure
4) The Poetry Tool Box
5) Places, spaces, own personal oasis
6) Speculative poetry, shaping the unshapeable

Set 5: Once upon a rhyme in the west...

1) Giving life to time
2) The locations of emotions
3) News you can use
4) Discovery. Recovery
5) The museum of the self
6) The death of time


I did Paul’s Finding The Poem course this Autumn and I can honestly say that it was one of the best decisions I have made this year – I can’t believe I almost didn’t sign up! Having been mildly terrified at the idea of starting, I quickly began to look forward to each session and have missed it terribly since it ended.


Finding the Poem


Paul is a magician: he set up poetry spells using ingredients like borrowed words from all kinds of places, he led us through unseen doorways deploying fun and clever ways of plumbing our heads and our everyday lives and random thoughts.


Finding the Poem


Cost £140

Spring (Set 1): Evenings


  • Mondays 6.30-9pm
  • Jan 8, 15, 22, 29, Feb 5

Spring (Set 2): Evenings

  • Mondays 6.30-9pm
  • Feb 19, 26, March 4, 11, 18, 25

Summer (Set 3): Evenings

  • Tuesdays 6.30-9pm

    April 16, 23, 30, May 7, 14, 21

Autumn (Set 4): Evenings


  • Mondays 6.30-9pm

    Sept 16, 23, 30, Oct 7, 14, 21

Autumn (Set 5): Evenings

  • Mondays 6.30-9pm

    Nov 4, 11, 18, 25, Dec 2, 9

Our tutor Paul says...

For me every session is a gathering of explorers. I issue, in the form of themes & steps, where we are going, if you like give everyone the same map and compass, but from there onwards I don't know where everyone will journey to. It's a very exciting ride to dozens of different destinations and a joy to be part of.

Paul Lyalls

Paul Lyalls was poet in residence for the Roald Dahl Museum 2013/2014 and star of BBC2’s/CBBC’s ‘Big Slam Poetry House’. His poetry is funny and moving and his poetry workshops produce extraordinary poems from people of all ages. Paul has been poet in residence at ten secondary schools and over twenty primary schools. His new poetry collection for adults, Catching the Cascade (Flipped Eye), was shortlisted for the People’s Book Prize. His children’s collection A Funny Thing Happened (2014), with an intro by Michael Rosen, is loved by kids and people with inner kids of all ages. In 2008, Paul was Poet for the London Borough of Brent (London’s fifth coolest Borough) and he has performed at Wembley stadium. He has two poems in Michael Rosen’s A-Z: The Best Children’s Poetry from Agard to Zephaniah (Penguin). Paul has also performed at ten Edinburgh festivals, one Eton College, five Glastonburys and on a 73 Bus, which made the ‘and finally…’ bit of the 6pm national news. Paul was Poet for the London Borough of Islington’s Word Festival 2012-16, working regularly with Arsenal football club performing his poetry in their dressing room and on their pitch!

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