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ZSL London Zoo Poetry Writing Course - Writing at the Zoo

Tutors: Pascale Petit, Astrid Alben

Programme: Not so far from the gods, not so far from the beasts either

Dates: Saturday 26 and Sunday 27 April

Workshop Times: 10am – 5pm

Cost: £200

Book by phone: 0844 225 1826 - Mon to Sun (8.30am-5.30pm)
Register via email: Steve Marriot at or call him on 0207 449 6551

About this course:

This course is for anyone who wants to develop their poetry writing skills while thinking and learning about animals, the environment and conservation issues.


As well as the encounter day at ZSL London Zoo on Saturday 26 April, where you will get the opportunity to view the animals and speak to the keepers, this intense weekend course will comprise of workshops over two days where you will get the opportunity to develop your writing skills through exercises and tutor feedback.


The cost of the course includes two entries to ZSL London Zoo, the creative writing workshops and access to the Zoological Society of London Library*.

The day will include an introductory talk with the course tutors followed by a visit to the pygmy hippos, tigers, seahorses and komodo dragons exhibits within the Zoo, an opportunity to speak to the keepers and time to take notes. Participants will be given exercises to complete and encouraged to take notes and develop and share their work.

All students completing this course will receive a certificate.

(*ZSL Library is open Mon to Fri from 9.30am to 5.30pm. You are advised to join the library before the course commences. Membership is free. For details on how to join please visit: ZSL Library

Tutor Profiles:

Pascale Petit - Photo by Kaido VainomaaPascale Petit’s fifth collection, What the Water Gave Me: Poems after Frida Kahlo (Seren, 2010), was shortlisted for both the T.S. Eliot Prize and Wales Book of the Year, and was a Book of the Year in The Observer. Two of her previous collections, The Zoo Father and The Huntress, were also shortlisted for the T.S. Eliot Prize and selected as Books of the Year in the Times Literary Supplement and the Independent. The Zoo Father was also published in a bilingual edition in Mexico and as an illustrated edition in Serbia. A selection of poems from her next collection Fauverie (Seren, 2014), based in the Ménagerie in Paris, won the 2013 Manchester Writing Prize for Poetry. A pamphlet Effigies was published in 2013, commissioned by the A.M. Qattan Foundation at The Mosaic Rooms and a Selected Poems will be published in China in 2014. She currently tutors courses at Tate Modern and for The Poetry School. You can find out more on her website or her blog.

Astrid AlbenAstrid Alben read English Literature and Philosophy at Edinburgh University. Her poetry collection Ai! Ai! Pianissimo is published by Arc Publications. Alben has been described as, “a new and original voice in English poetry, serious and uncompromising.” Her poetry, essays and reviews are widely published, including in the Times Literary Supplement and Poetry Review, The Wolf, Stand and Poem, and her poems have been translated into Romanian and Chinese. She is currently working on her second collection. To hear her poems visit her website.
As the co-founder of the arts and sciences initiative Pars, Alben is the editor of two art and science anthologies, Findings on Ice (2007) and Findings on Elasticity (2010, both published by Lars Müller Publishers), and curates site-specific events that are a mixture of theatre, scientific experiment and performance ( Alben is a Royal Society of Arts Fellow and was awarded a Wellcome Trust Fellowship through the Clore Leadership Programme 2013-2014.



My book Fauverie and the stars of the Fauverie in the Jardin des Plantes Ménagerie, Paris
Pascale Petit

Astrid Alben at Hubbub
Astrid Alben

Astrid Alben Poetry
Astrid Alben


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