Petrarchan Sonnet Workshop with Rachel Piercey
Do you want to know the difference between a Petrarchan and a Shakespearean sonnet? Confused by
your ABABs and your ABBAs? Would you like to sort out the octave, volta and sestet? Join poet Rachel
Piercey as she gives you a crash course in sonnet writing, using examples from its development in the 13th
century through to the modern day – from the formal to the experimental, the heartfelt to the pithy, the
romantic to the political. This 90 minute session will introduce you to famous and not-so- famous examples
of the form, and flex your poetic muscles with guided exercises helping you get to grips with the ‘little song’.
Rachel Piercey studied English Literature at St Hugh’s College, Oxford, where she won the Newdigate
Prize in 2008. She has worked as a travel guide editor and Education Co-ordinator at The Poetry
Society, and is now a freelance writer, tutor and editor. She has two poetry pamphlets with the
Emma Press, The Flower and the Plough (2013) and Rivers Wanted (2014), and her poems have
appeared in The Rialto, Magma, Butcher’s Dog, Poems in Which and The Poetry Review. Rachel also
writes and runs poetry workshops for children.