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“Form is everything in poetry. Form is what makes the poem a poem from the moment you put the first letter down on the first page. Is there really such a thing as a formless poem? Oh god. How to go on. Where to start?”

Jacqueline Saphra, from Access All Areas

Access All Areas

Form and Revolution

by Jacqueline Saphra


We are delighted to be publishing Jacqueline Saphra’s essay Access All Areas: Form and Revolution, which was commissioned as the 2021 StAnza Lecture. Jacqueline’s essay explores the idea that fixed/given/prescribed/traditional/ closed form is available to all poets and is a way of respecting what has come before but can also be subversive, and yes, revolutionary.


She discusses works by pioneering women, such as Gwendolyn Brooks and Edna St Vincent Millay, and how contemporary writers, such as Natalie Diaz and Terrance Hayes, use form to question and critique modern life while maintaining a dialogue with poets of the past.


You can buy Access All Areas here for £5 plus postage.


We are grateful for the participation of the StAnza Poetry Festival in this publication.

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