Aldeburgh Eight : The Advanced Seminar


The most recent Aldeburgh Eight took place in Suffolk from 6th-13th November 2015.

Aldeburgh Eight is the natural progression of The Poetry Trust’s Advanced Seminar which ran successfully each March from 2007-2011. The principle aim is to offer a unique opportunity, professional and creative, for eight carefully selected poets early in their publishing careers. We are interested in the stage that the poet is at, not the age of the poet. Seminar participants begin with an immersive three days at the international Aldeburgh Poetry Festival, immediately followed by an intensive five-day rural retreat. Participants stay together throughout – during the Festival (6-8 November 2015) and then 12 miles inland at Bruisyard Hall, near Saxmundham (9-13 November 2015).

This year we received a record-breaking 119 applications (up from 85 last year and 66 in 2013!), most of which met the demanding criteria for consideration, many offering impressive credentials – evidence of the real demand for this kind of targeted, affordable accelerated development. Jackie Wills and Peter Sansom will be their tutors this year.

The eight poets who were selected for Aldeburgh Eight 2014 were:

  • John Challis (Tyne & Wear)
  • Josephine Corcoran (Wiltshire)
  • Suzannah Evans (Sheffield)
  • Seán Hewitt (Cheshire)
  • Anita Pati (London)
  • Kathy Pimlott (London)
  • Andrew Rudd (Cheshire)
  • Miranda Yates (New Mills)


Here’re some of the best experiences of the 2014 Aldeburgh Eight:

Free access to the Festival at the start. And feeling recognised and valued as a poet and looked after, in every sense. I felt our craft was being honoured in very real, tangible ways, and this gave a big morale boost. So – all of it!
Joanna Guthrie

Focused time to just live in poetry with poets at a similar stage in their writing, gently steered (though worked hard by Michael and Peter) and all after a background of a staggeringly brilliant Festival!
Matt Howard

Being immersed in poetry for a week. The Festival programme was excellent, and I felt I was being exposed to a range of exciting poetic voices. The level of poetry practice and discussion within the group of eight was high, and so one felt one was learning all the time. The whole experience was very intense, in a way that was productive.
Mary Noonan

Special thanks to Bruisyard Hall, Garrick Charitable Trust and Idlewild Trust for their support for the Aldeburgh Eight