Back in early Spring I attended a workshop where we were offered the opportunity to get involved with a project between Young Writers in Local Schools & the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust.
I registered my interest in March with Elizabeth Dollimore the Informal Learning and Programmes Manager and by April had received my two letters from local school children, in which they set a poetry challenge. My real challenge was the fast turn around with just 6 days to write two poems and get them posted back to the team at the Birthplace. As you know, April was busy – the week I was writing for this I was also organising the Poetry Exhibition at the Jinney Ring, facilitating 1 workshop for The Basement Project, attending another one (ironically in Stratford – but my poems were not ready to drop in) and had tickets to Idle Women.
I knew I had to get the writing done before the weekend and here I faced a new set of challenges. Mainly everything had to be handwritten – nowadays I type almost everything. Still I thought it would be good for the children to see how great their handwriting was in comparison!
The poems were about peace, one pupil asked for humour and the other asked for nature to be included. The resulting poem ‘A Need for Peace’ was written using a rhyming scheme (rare in my work) and took a few drafts before it scanned properly, I think it was funny – hopefully my pupil did too. The second poem ‘Ground Control’ was brimming with nature and used terms to describe aspects of nature like ‘Komorebi’. They were both fun to write.
Along with the poems sent back we had to give the pupil a new poetry challenge which they then used in a workshop.
This month I received an email from Julie Harris-Grant to say;
The local primary school has been in touch to say that the children were absolutely thrilled with their replies! Your letters have really inspired them to engage with and enjoy a variety of poetry.
A second workshop was held at MENCAP and this has produced yet more exciting work for us to share.
I enjoy any poetry projects which focus on Peace & Reconciliation, I love to collaborate and try something new.
It has been a pleasure to help connect young people to poetry and I am looking forward to the final event on the 23rd June as part of the
Poetry Festival 2018
Inspired by a theme of Peace and Reconciliation
where we get to meet the school teams and hear some of the work they have produced.
Black Box Poetry
Saturday 23 June, 2.00 -3.00 pm
Local school children, community groups and poetry enthusiasts have all been working with In-Public to create poetry about peace. Join us to hear the poems they created and be inspired by the talent and creativity on show.
This will take place at The Shakespeare Centre, Henley Street, Stratford Upon Avon, CV37 6QW