In this innovative series of public lectures at Newcastle University, leading contemporary poets speak about the craft and practice of poetry to audiences drawn from both the city and the university. The lectures are then published in book form by Bloodaxe, giving readers everywhere the opportunity to learn what the poets themselves think about their own subject. It's almost a cliche that music and poetry are cousins, and that the term lyric names this cousinship. Yet the actual forms music takes within poetry are unclear, even contested. At the same time, our assumptions about these forms condition the ways we hear poetry. So it's useful to us as both readers and writers to discover where the analogies between music and poetry are. Fiona Sampson's Music Lessons outlines some of these, using ideas and examples from Martin Heidegger to J.S. Bach, Emily Dickinson to Leonard Cohen, and George Herbert to Julia Kristeva. Her first lecture, Point Counter-point, uses melody to suggest a link between poetic line, phrase and breath. Here is my space explores how pureA", abstract forms can be created in time in the same way that they are created in space. Finally, How strange the change looks at sensuous apprehension and the pleasure principle.
Fiona Sampson was first a concert violinist, then studied at the Universities of Oxford, where she won the Newdigate Prize, and Nijmegen, where she received a PhD in the philosophy of language. This research arose from her pioneering residencies in health care. Her latest of seventeen books is Rough Music, shortlisted for the 2010 Forward and T.S. Eliot Prizes. In 2009 she received a Cholmondeley Award and became an FRSL. She is editor of Poetry Review.