Open call: St Mungo Mirrorball’s Verse Apprenticeship Scheme Clydebuilt in partnership with the Edwin Morgan Trust

Deadline June 28, 2020

This year marks the beginning of a partnership between the Edwin Morgan Trust and St Mungo’s Mirrorball, as part of the Edwin Morgan Centenary celebrations. We are excited to launch a call for emerging poets to apply for Clydebuilt 13. Clydebuilt is an innovative mentoring programme in which promising poets are paired with an experienced mentor for a period of 12 months.

Edwin Morgan was an internationalist, writing across forms, themes, and languages and yet he was also very much a Glasgow-based poet; it is with this spirit that St Mungo’s Mirrorball designed the Clydebuilt Verse Apprenticeship Scheme. Founded in 2007, the scheme provides intensive support for poets at an early stage of their writing careers, encouraging a greater dialogue between them and more experienced practitioners. Mentors have included poets such as Liz Lochhead, Gerry Cambridge, John Glenday, Gerry Loose, Gerrie Fellows, A. B. Jackson, J. L. Williams, Miriam Gamble, and Alexander Hutchison.

The scheme recruits no more than four local (Greater Glasgow) poets who have yet to have a first full collection published (not counting pamphlet publication) and are not currently receiving any support with their development, e.g. not enrolled on an MLitt programme or fee-paying course. This mentoring will be given by an experienced poet-tutor over the course of 12 months, roughly from September 2020 to September 2021, and will consist of 5 group tutorials and 2 sets of one-to-one sessions which will be free to the participants. At these tutorials there will be a discussion of pre-submitted work with a mix of peer and tutor feedback. This will encourage participants to develop not only their own writing style but their ability to critique others. Over the year the participants will develop a portfolio of poems. Participants will give a reading of some of their resulting work along with their tutor at the end of the 12 months at a dedicated St Mungo’s Mirrorball event and, subject to discussion, as part of the Edwin Morgan Centenary celebrations.

A year of mentoring is a rare gift. I think my year on the Clydebuilt scheme enhanced my bravery: about when to be brutal and when to be playful; when to re-shape or abandon; to leave my ego outside the room and to trust the poem. Apply!” Mark Russell, Clydebuilt 5 (with Alexander Hutchison).

Clydebuilt gave me deadlines (which I need!) and a platform to try out new things in a friendly and supportive environment.” Juana Adcock, Clydebuilt 9 (with Liz Lochhead).

Eligibility 

To be eligible to be an apprentice you cannot be involved in any other writing course or receiving any other structured writing support as of September 2020 and you should not yet have brought out a full-length poetry collection. You must also live in the Greater Glasgow urban area.

If you are interested in applying to be one of the four verse apprentices, please provide the following 

  • Full contact details
  • A brief biography of your writing career to date
  • 5 poems as typical examples of your work
  • A statement of your short-term and long-term poetry goals
  • An outline of what you hope to achieve from the support over the next 12 months 
  • A clear indication of the time commitment you are able to give both in terms of writing and attendance at the tutorial programme (September 2020 – September 2021)   

A panel including Jim Carruth: Glasgow Makar and Chair of St Mungo’s Mirrorball, Vicki Husband: Poet and Shortlisted Saltire Poetry Book of the Year Award and Samuel Tongue: Poet, Editor, and Project Coordinator, Scottish Poetry Library,  will review the applications and decide whether any interviews are necessary. The chosen tutor/mentor will be involved in the final decision on the apprentices for their group.  

We warmly welcome applications from underrepresented and marginalised groups in the city. We are actively working on widening participation and representation in the Clydebuilt poetry scheme and St Mungo’s Mirrorball now and in future years.

E-mail your submission in one document to Clydebuilt Coordinator Samuel Tongue  stongue1@gmail.com by the Closing Date of Sunday June 28, 2020.

If you have any query regarding eligibility do not hesitate to e-mail Samuel Tongue.

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