Poetry Memorization – for Fun and Mental Fitness

Date(s) - 13/04/2018 - 01/06/2018
2:00 pm - 4:00 pm

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Chapel Field Methodist Church Hall

With Gary Dexter

This course will introduce students to poetry memorization and performance, both for pleasure and as a form of mental discipline. We’ll look at methods of memorization, poetry performance, the history and criticism of poetry, and the role poetry plays in our lives.

In the past, rote learning of poetry was taught in schools: nowadays it is less common. But there are still prominent practitioners – Judi Dench says that she tries to memorize a poem every day to keep her on top of her game as an actor. Some do sudoku for mental fitness: for those who memorize poetry, the beauty of the written word is thrown in for free.

Beginners are welcome. All you need is the willingness to commit poems to memory. Any level of skill is fine.

Each course session will involve plenty of exercises to stimulate memory and appreciate poetry.

About the tutor:








I have a Masters degree in Modern Poetry and have been writing novels, poetry, non-fiction and journalism for twenty-five years. I have recited poetry on demand on Radio 5 and Radio 2, and my book on poetry memorization will be published next year. Among my other books are Why Not Catch-21? (Frances Lincoln, 2007; paperback 2008), an exploration of the derivation of book titles; The Oxford Despoiler (Old St, 2009; paperback 2009), a Victorian detective mystery; Poisoned Pens (Frances Lincoln, 2009; paperback 2010), an anthology of splenetic writers; 102 Ways to Write a Novel (Old St, 2009), non-fiction under the name Alex Quick; All the Materials for a Midnight Feast (Old St, July 2011), a novel about the peace movement of the 1980s; and Natural Desire in Healthy Women (Old St, 2014), a novel about the contraceptive rights movement of the 1920s.