Monkey-Elegant: Poetry Workshops

3 Aug 2014 13:00 - 17:00

Monkey-Elegant: Poetry Workshops


A smell of French bread in Charlotte Street, a rustle

                Of leaves in Regent’s Park

And suddenly from the Zoo I hear a sea-lion

               Confidently bark.

Louis MacNeice, Autumn Journal


Dates: First Sundays 03/08, 07/09, 05/10, 02/11, 07/12 

Times: 1pm-5pm

Price: £180

Entry Level: 16+ this workshop is aimed at students who already have their own writing practice and wish to develop their work further.

Location: ZSL London Zoo


For phone bookings please contact: 0844 225 1826 - Mon to Sun (8.30am - 5pm)


About this course

This is not a course on nature poetry. Rather, over six four-hour sessions, this workshop will use the animals, architecture and plants of ZSL London Zoo to explore six essential components of poetry: metaphor, form, allusion, rhythm, cadence and sensation. 

Whether via the actual observation of the lions, monkeys, owls and hummingbirds that appear in the poems of great contemporary and historical poets, or the exploration of both the Victorian Bird House and the ultra-Modernist penguin pool as a way of thinking about the evolutions and revolutions of form, this workshop will focus on reading exceptional poems alongside the real-life observation of the world they have transformed as a method for helping us write, edit and, ultimately, improve of our own poems. 


The workshop will be led by Ahren Warner. ZSL Writer-in-Residence and Poetry Editor of Poetry London, Ahren has also published two collections of poetry and received awards including The Arts Foundation Fellowship, Society of Authors Eric Gregory Award and two Poetry Book Society Recommendations. He recently edited The Best British Poetry 2013 and is also a Research Associate with the Newcastle Centre for the Literary Arts.

Cost of cost includes:

  • duration of course at London Zoo with tutor(s
  • insight from ZSL experts
  • Entry into ZSL Zoo (you will have time to roam the Zoo before course starts every Sunday)
  • free study time in the ZSL Library throughout duration of the course - Please note that ZSL Libray is open Mon-Fri 9.30-17.30 - You are advised to join the library in advance of the course commencing, memberships is free:,65,AR.html
  • tea & coffee


For phone bookings please contact: 0844 225 1826 - Mon to Sun (8.30am - 5pm)

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