From Zero to Personal Resonance – A Poetry Workshop with John W. Sexton

Location: Dingle Hub

Date: Saturday 19 November

Time: 10.00 – 16.00 IST/GMT

Cost: €50

Poetry Ireland are offering four bursaries to emerging poets for places on this course.
Full details and how to apply here
N.B. Deadline: 17.00 Tuesday 8 November

John W. SExton Dingle Literary Festival 2022

Who the workshop is for

Oftentimes poets feel dry of inspiration, have urgent things to express but feel such expression temporarily beyond them. In this workshop, suitable for both newer and more experienced poets, poet John W. Sexton will examine ways to break the lethargy of purpose that often faces us as writers.

Poetry Ireland supporting Dingle Lit

Thanks to Poetry Ireland for their support

What the workshop covers

You will look at how to evolve a poem from the barest of beginnings, and then begin poems of your own, with constructive advice at each stage. During the process we will examine touchstone poems from World and European poets, and also Irish poets at the cutting edge of contemporary practice.

Each examination of a poem will be with a view to utilizing approaches that unlock the creative mind, and therefor will include writing exercises. The writing done in the sessions will then be subject to constructive and friendly feedback in order to hone the writing further and to expand on how certain approaches work, and to suggest solutions to any problems that arise from the first draft.

The day will revolve around practical learning and execution, getting directly into the creation of poems that self-generate their own inspiration, poetry that urges itself to be written. The emphasis will be on producing work that is both compelling and has relevance, rather than simply writing “exercise poems”.

What you can expect

The focus will be on producing new work on the day, and hopefully creating the poetry that you feel is there all along but has been resisting the page. The ultimate purpose of the workshop will be not only to get new work written, but with the ambition to have work in the early crucial stages suitable for submission to poetry journals; to produce poems that have traction for both poetry readers and journal editors.


John W. Sexton Dingle Literary Festival 2022

Workshop Leader – John W. Sexton

John W. Sexton was born in 1958 and is the author of seven poetry collections, the most recent being Futures Pass (Salmon Poetry 2018), and Visions at Templeglantine (Revival Press 2020). A chapbook of his surrealist poetry, Inverted Night, came out from SurVision in April 2019. He also created and wrote The Ivory Tower for RTÉ Radio, which ran to over one hundred half-hour episodes.

His novels based on this series, The Johnny Coffin Diaries and Johnny Coffin School-Dazed are both published by The O’Brien Press and have been translated into Italian and Serbian.

Under the ironic pseudonym of Sex W. Johnston he has recorded an album with legendary Stranglers frontman, Hugh Cornwell, entitled Sons of Shiva, which has been released on Track Records.

He is a past nominee for The Hennessy Literary Award and his poem The Green Owl was awarded the Listowel Poetry Prize 2007 for best single poem. His poem The Snails was shortlisted for the 2018 An Post / Listowel Writers’ Week Poem of the Year Award. In 2007 he was awarded a Patrick and Katherine Kavanagh Fellowship in Poetry. His next collection, The World Under the World, is forthcoming from Salmon Poetry.

Cancellation/Refund Policy

You are entitled to a refund within one week of your payment, (less card processing fee of 2.00% of the workshop fee) provided that the workshop has not already started.
We cannot refund fees in respect of cancellation after this time. We cannot offer partial refunds to students who do not finish the workshop.