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A 12 week poetry program exploring the work of 12 queer poets, offered to 15 North-West based queer identifying writers, supported by our partners, Arts Council England, Homotopia, DADA Fest, WoW, Broken Sleep, and Creative Futures




As queer people we are forced to find representation in villains, seek surrogate parents in divas, daddies and pop stars. We construct alternative histories, cosmologies, and spiritualities from those handed down to us. We become our own icons, ascribing ‘iconic’ status. We trouble and disrupt the established order, and so we must write narratives alternative to the ones we are erased from.


12 workshops and a 3 day in-person residency at Bidston Observatory, facilitated by Day Mattar and Brendan Curtis, with 3 masterclasses ran by Joelle Taylor, Andre Bagoo, and Queer Bodies alumni, Peter Scalpello.


Weekly, we will examine the contexts & themes of 12 Queer poets, and the poetic techniques that make each poet ‘iconic’, through close readings, discussions, and writing exercises,

We will explore multiple associations with the word ‘icon’, from the symbolic & sacred, to fetishism & celebrity. We will look at each poet through a multitude of lenses & disciplines (music, visual art, performance, playwriting, film) as a way of demonstrating the impact & influence of their work throughout history.


The work generated over the course of the workshops will be published by Broken Sleep Books, in the QUEER ICONS anthology, 2022.

Successful applicants will have the opportunity to perform their work to diverse audiences in the North West, with Homotopia, WoW, Manchester Poetry Library, and Heart of Glass.

Our ambition is to embed these ‘queer icons’ in a co-created, ever-evolving, queer canon, adopting and learning from their styles, to refract, refine, and reframe our own creative practice.


This course is suitable for folks interested in challenging and strengthening their practice, learning critical theory and gaining valuable feedback in a safe environment.

Participants should be open to collaboration, compassion, and have a passion for / interest in writing / exploring / reading / presenting and publishing poetry, individually and in group settings.

We especially encourage applications from queer, trans, POC, disabled, and older writers.


7pm to 9pm, Thursdays, running from 4 Nov - 3 Feb

Important dates (please consider these dates before applying):


  • 10 Nov - PERFORMANCE at FUTURE YARD in association with JARG

  • 23 Dec - 6 Jan: TWO WEEK BREAK

  • 6 - 8 Jan: 3 day RESIDENCY, Bidston Observatory


BY 22 OCT!!! 

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