The Poetry School visits Haringey Unchained

Haringey Unchained was excited to welcome John Canfield into the fold on the 13th November. Canfield, who is the MA Manager at the Poetry School in London, spent the session teaching our young poets how to write sonnets. This was the first time they had ever attempted to write in this rather difficult form.

John began with a whistle-stop tour of the history of the form, including the key poetic players in establishing what was originally an Italian form in the English cannon. They discussed Petrarch and Shakespeare.

The students were then encouraged to begin writing their own sonnets, which they did with incredible enthusiasm. John eventually returned the following year to work with the magazine and its publication process, and saw the outcomes of the pieces then.

“I really loved it! I find sonnets really interesting and can’t wait to master the skill.”


It was a real pleasure to meet and work with the writers of Haringey Unchained who demonstrated a joyous mix of knowledge and curiosity about the sonnet, Shakespeare and poetry in general. I’m excited to come back and see the results and work with them again.

John Canfield, MA Manager at The Poetry School