Hip Yak Poetry School

Applications Are Open!

For South West Poets and the wider UK.

All About the Hip Yak Poetry School

Dates : Thurs 23 May (afternoon) until Sun 26 May 2019 (lunch)

The Hip Yak Poetry School is a three day all inclusive artist development retreat, aimed at supporting up to 40 emerging and professional spoken word poets in making sustainable careers out of their poetry and creative skills. It is for all professional and semi professional spoken word poets living and working in the South West – and a few beyond.

The Hip Yak Poetry School will be an adventurous experience, with first class teaching, investigation, learning, networking and live-streamed debate, which will support participants in developing personal and achievable career strategies, while helping them to establish and maintain quality events, which can engage new and bigger audiences.

We want to make things better for spoken word poets and their audiences. Help poets feel more supported and prepared when going into schools or working with vulnerable adults and children. Provide some insight on how to get gigs and what to charge, how to promote yourself, get published, make a show or start a project. We want to share our experience on how to launch a new poetry night, or make the one you are running more successful.

We also want you to have an exceptionally wonderful time, so we fully intend to feed your soul as well as your brain. After all, poets need a bit of poetry now and again.

The ultimate aim is to get a big watering can full of networking, strategic innovation, creative endeavour and hope. So that we can pour it liberally over ourselves and the South West spoken word scene until beetles crawl out of our ears and flowers grow between our fingers.

Here are the Hip Yak Poetry School Facilitators. Some of them (Kate, Jonny, Liv, Beryl, Chris, Matt and Pete) will be teaching and mentoring all weekend. A few will be our honoured guests (Zena, Dizraeli and Lucy) coming to offer their brilliance for a day. Birdspeed is our Shadow Artist and will be training with us and supporting the core facilitators.

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But it’s not just about workshops

The timetable will include a series of live streamed events, including a closing Sunday morning debate on the way forward for spoken word in the South West, with South West poets and poetry, theatre and literature organisations, including Apples and Snakes, Take Art and Burning Eye. The aim is to come up with a series of pledges for ways we can work together towards a better spoken word scene in the region. We also believe the venture will seed new project initiatives from the hotbed of upcoming talent and potential collaborations.

If you are interested in attending just the debate we have space for 12 extra people on the Sunday morning. Please contact us to find out more.

As part of the retreat participants will be invited to take a personal quest / guided walk through the woods at Wild Ways, where they will choose their path based on their personal motivations and aspirations, solve riddles, discover clues and challenge their wits. While in turn they will get to meet famous dead poets, played by actors, who will offer advice or guidance. This walking poetry experience will be used as a starting point to explore personal motivations, desires, hopes and inspirations.

Throughout the weekend there will be mentoring opportunities available for participants, including small group sessions with individual facilitators and 1-2-1 sessions for those with projects they wish to brainstorm. Mentoring will also be available for the facilitators if they wish to share skills.

We are already working with our partners to come up with real tangible opportunities for many of the poets who will attend the Hip Yak Poetry school, including further training for some participants to work on an on-going poetry and mental health project, opportunities to work on a schools slam project and in rural touring and bookings for gigs and festivals. These ideas and opportunities will be developed over the next six months and will be discussed in more detail during at the Hip Yak Poetry School.

We appreciate that many many people, specifically those outside the South West and those who prefer a less adventurous teaching experience, might prefer to experience the Big Debate and some of the teaching from the comfort of their own home. So we also aim to use live streaming and recorded video content to extend the reach of the teaching and debate to all poets and practitioners on the spoken word scene. More info on this later, as we are still working out how to run the wi-fi cable through the trees and over the track.

Are you ramshackle enough for the Hip Yak Poetry School? Find out more about the place, space and facilities. Click Here.

Do you have lots of burning questions? Read the Q&As.

Applications open 15 November 2019 and close Friday 14 December at 10am.