‘under the sun’s rare brilliance’ – a final Patron of Writing update for 2018/19

I’ve genuinely loved every moment of being DGS Patron of Writing for 2018/19. It remains an awesome privilege for me to crack open some space in the school day for creativity and writing.

And I’m absolutely thrilled to be returning next year – so watch out, next year’s Year 9, poetry is coming for you in term 2! There’ll also be excellent opportunities for Year 7s to push boundaries in language, ethics and self-expression in our Eco-poetry Showcase, which returns for a second year, as well as an absolutely golden opportunity for 2 students who show special potential, to take over the mantle of Poet Laureate from this year’s incredible poets, Nina Winstone (Year 8) and Kat Richards (Year 11). There will be time and space created for lower school writers to create poems for National Poetry Day in October on the expansive theme ‘truth’. And last but not least, the chance for Year 9 and 10 students to dig into writing, and become a supportive community of writers, in our unique 20-week Young Writers’ Mentoring programme, which returns for a third year.

I think you’ll agree that there’s so much to come in 2019/20! But first, a moment of #DGSPride – pictured are the talented poets who completed this year’s Mentoring Programme with me, on the launch night of our anthology, ‘that in-between space’. It was a night that I will genuinely remember for a very long time!


The summer holidays have been a long wait for some of us. I have to admit to being a summer lover – open fields of long grass hold massive appeal for me, and I’m going to be kicking off my shoes and losing myself in some of them over the coming weeks. Rest so often opens the door for creativity for me, and I hope that, like me, many of you will get your favourite writing pen and notebook out this summer, and fill it with wonderful words. The best way to end the year for me, is with this poem by fabulous poet Maura Dooley, written about Emily Brontë and her dog, Keeper, who are doing just that!

Up on the Moors with Keeper, by Maura Dooley

Three girls under the sun’s rare brilliance

out on the moors, hitching their skirts

over bog-myrtle and bilberry.


They’ve kicked up their heels at a dull brother

whose keep still can’t you? wants to fix

them to canvas. Emily’s dog stares at these


three girls under the juggling larks

pausing to catch that song on a hesitant wind,

all wings and faces dipped in light.


What could there be to match this glory?

High summer, a scent of absent rain,

away from the dark house, father and duty.

(Maura Dooley, from ‘Sound Barrier’)

Read more about poet Maura Dooley here.


Published by Elaine Baker


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