Hello all! The past couple of months have been busy, busy, busy as I and the rest of the I Am Loud team have been working on Return to Form Season 2. I laid out the details in a post at the start of the project, but in case you missed it, this is our project celebrating poetic forms, from the ancient to the new. We commissioned 16 of the UK’s hottest contemporary poets to write in 8 different forms, and I created accompanying step-by-step workshops on how to write in each one. Plus, this season also featured a Form Fundamentals mini-series in which I teach the basics of poetic form, with an introductory video and episodes on structure, rhyme, and metre.
This season was a mammoth undertaking, but I’m so pleased we did it and so proud of the end result. The work the poets created is STUNNING and features some really brilliant innovation within the forms. One of our motivations for this project was showing how traditional techniques can still be used and infused with fresh energy by contemporary writers, and the work created for this project really demonstrated that. The poets featured this season were Harry Baker (writing contrapuntal poetry), Nadine Aisha Jassat & AR Crow (writing villanelles), Sarah Grant & Tyrone Lewis (writing found poetry), Jasmine Gardosi & Robin Lamboll (writing palindrome poetry), Colin Bramwell & Joelle Taylor (writing in terza rima), Mark Gallie & Malaika Kegode (writing list poetry), Bex Sherwood & Imogen Stirling & Kate Tough (writing renga), and Mark Grist & Angie Strachan (writing in standard habbie).
All of their poems – plus all of the poems created for Season 1 of Return to Form (featuring the sestina, concrete poetry, univocal poetry, Shakespearean sonnets, and the golden shovel) – can be found in this playlist. For example, here’s our video featuring the villanelles written by Nadine Aisha Jassat & AR Crow:
And all of the workshops from this season – plus Season 1’s workshops – can be found in this playlist. Here’s my workshop on the villanelle:
All of the videos created through this project are completely free, fully closed captioned, and accessible to writers ages 14+. If you’re an educator – or you know any – who might find these resources helpful for teaching poetic form, please don’t hesitate to use or share them! We want to help writers of all ages and experience levels feel more comfortable navigating poetry and more confident expressing themselves.
Over the next few weeks/months I’m planning to post closer looks into each of the forms we explored this season, so stay tuned! As always, thanks for reading, everyone, and happy writing! – Katie