Poetry Surgery (Edinburgh) with John Glenday

This is a wonderful opportunity to discuss your poetry on a one-to-one basis with poet and tutor John Glenday. Poetry Surgery offers a relaxed but in-depth analysis of your poems. You will discuss problems you may be experiencing, and look at strategies for taking your work forward. There will be plenty time to talk about all those things you need to know about writing, revising and submitting your work.

John runs four one-hour sessions at 11.30, 12.30, 1.30 and 2.30, and each takes place on a Saturday at the Business Hub, McDonald Road Library, Edinburgh EH7 4LU. Once you have booked, we will contact you to agree which timeslot you would like and, closer to the session, you will also be asked to send up to 6 poems, or 150 lines maximum, in advance, so that John has sufficient time to read your poems beforehand. We'll also ask you to provide a brief note about your goals for your writing and what specifically you hope to gain from the Surgery.

Fee: £40 for Poetry Society members, £50 for non-members.

NEXT DATES: Book online by clicking on the date below or contact Paul McGrane with your credit card/debit card details: 020 7420 9881, membership @ poetrysociety.org.uk

Please note: there's no Surgery in January or March 2015.

John Glenday   John Glenday’s first collection, The Apple Ghost won a Scottish Arts Council Book Award and his second, Undark, was a Poetry Book Society Recommendation. His most recent collection, Grain (Picador, 2009) is also a Poetry Book Society Recommendation and was shortlisted for both the Ted Hughes Award and the Griffin Poetry Prize. He was a judge for the 2011 National Poetry Competition.

Feedback from John's previous sessions:

“The Poetry Surgery was exceptionally good. John had taken the time to carefully read and comment on my work, he marked up the poems and provided a written commentary on each. He gave very valuable advice and highlighted a couple of issues that has dogged my work for a while. We had a very good chat and I enjoyed his company as much as his instructive observations. It was more than good value for money and I would recommend John anytime.” David Campbell, Edinburgh

"I enjoyed my session. Excellent advice both on the poems I'd sent and more generally as well. Definitely worth the long trip and the cost." Carole Bromley, York

I thoroughly enjoyed the poetry session with John. I learned a great deal from our valuable hour together, from the important general discussion and exchange to the nitty-gritty of working through the individual poems. Importantly I returned home fired up, buoyed up, ready to tussle again with some problem lines and believing it is entirely worthwhile to spend time with poetry, reading it, writing it, discussing it. You know it has been a good session when you leave the room feeling incredibly alive! So, value for money? You bet. Would I recommend the experience? I already have" Rebecca K Morrison, Aberdeen

I had a really good meeting with John. He is easy to talk to. His comments were careful, detailed and well explained so I was always clear why he suggested what he did. More, I always felt that his suggestions were going to help my poems be themselves, only better; too often, other people's suggestions feel like they'd change the nature of what I was trying to do. It was good value for money, and I'd recommend it to anyone serious about writing poetry. Robert Moffat, Penicuik

Excellent on all counts. John Glenday's comments were insightful and I learnt a lot about how to critique my own poems in more subtle ways than I have done before. He was charming, open, very thorough and a sensitive surgeon(!). I highly recommend him. Stephanie Green, Edinburgh

I had a profitable Surgery with John. He had clearly spent some time preparing feedback for me so I went home with a full set of notes as well as written comments on the day. He gave me references too. We discussed approaches in detail, combining constructive criticism with positivity. It was a relaxed hour and went too quickly! John responded to my interests and questions and left me feeling upbeat while aware of the areas I might like to work on. I would recommend his surgeries to fellow writers. He is a generous critic. Maggie Mackay, Fife


I very much appreciated and enjoyed the Poetry Surgery with John Glenday. He was not only encouraging but informative, perceptive and hugely helpful in enabling me to see my writing style with fresh and more analytical eyes. I am now re-working some of my poems in light of his comments. I would most certainly recommend this exercise as money, time (and a certain amount of nervous energy!) very well spent. Colin Horseman, Morpeth

I did enjoy the Surgery hugely and it was very helpful indeed. I would recommend to friends without hesitation. John Glenday had prepared thoroughly and worked assiduously during the hour. He handled the situation beautifully. Lydia Harris, York

I simply found it a wonderfully helpful hour. John gave me very detailed verbal and written feedback on my poems and offered thoughtful observations, editing suggestions and plenty of encouragement. I think it helped that I've been writing for a few years so I knew what I wanted from the session which was more than fulfilled. However having benefited from feedback from other poets and fellow writers during the last few years I felt that John was a particularly perceptive and generous mentor. Jane Aldous, Edinburgh

I had a most enjoyable and useful session with John. His blend of rigour and enthusiasm is a rare gift in a tutor and I found the session really helpful in identifying what wasn’t working in the poems, giving me pointers of what to look for when revising other poems of mine, and wonderfully encouraging of my recent work. It did help me to see where my strengths lie and the pitfalls to avoid and... renewed my alertness to language. John provided written notes as well as advice in the session and it was excellent value for money. I would have no hesitation in recommending a poetry surgery to others. A C Clarke, Glasgow

Great value for money and more than happy to recommend John Glenday. I received a set of thoughtful notes and comments on each of my poems. He elaborated, explained and illustrated his thoughts about what I had written. I came away with a bundle of ideas and detailed feedback. A very motivating session. Well worth the journey to Edinburgh. Mike Hough, Glasgow

John's advice has allowed me to break into a higher realm, closer to the kernel of what I would like to achieve. He made considered, tactful comments and had taken time to really think about the poems that I had sent him. It was also a pleasure to talk to a fellow poet who appreciates the art and who is enthusiastic about writing. The one hour time was just right. So is the price. Alison Barr, Ross-Shire