Monday, 6 October 2014


Because I was in London, there was a weirdly small amount of creative writing and reading taking place in Oxford Spires on National Poetry Day. In preparation, Kate and I created a poetic atmosphere to leave in our absence, including arranging for some students to go to Blackwell's on Broad Street, Oxford for a Pop Up Poetry event. This was a great opportunity for select sixth formers to share their work with the general public. Emee Begum, who was in the 85 commended poets for the Foyle Young Writer of the Year, read out her winning poem in Blackwell's as she could not make it to London for the ceremony.

Throughout the week, at school, I had been getting excited about the #ThinkOfAPoem campaign from the Forward Arts Foundation. Poets, students and educators were encouraged to get the conversation started with transfers and posters and workshops. At Oxford Spires, Kate carried out a 'first lines' workshop, in which she gave our young writers the first line of a famous poem and asked them to write where they saw it going. In some cases, the line was lost when their imaginations ran wild, but we were lucky to get some brilliant pieces like this:

Meanwhile, I have come away from the whole week buzzing with inspiration and excitement. Part of the Teacher Trailblazer Award was getting some new poetry books, which will go straight on the Library shelves (after I have read them and maybe even dabbled in some writing). I also got my copy of the Forward Book of Poetry 2015 (see my review here), and have been popping in and out of the pages whenever I get the chance.

Over the next couple of weeks, I hope to use this momentum to get some students to enter the Forward Young Responses competition; I cannot wait!

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