Where my heart lies in the darkness of my safe space: the poetry workshops continue…

I’m now 8 hours and 180 students in to my poetry workshops at Didcot Girls’ School, with year 9. It’s been brilliant, and there’s still more to come. There has been a vast amount of creativity, imagination and powerful writing in all the sessions. I’ve been lucky enough to work with all groups across theContinue reading “Where my heart lies in the darkness of my safe space: the poetry workshops continue…”

National Poetry Day 2019

With my Didcot Girls’ School Patron of Writing hat on, I had a lot of fun planning a poetry takeover for National Poetry Day. The students explored the life and words of environmental activist, Greta Thunberg, and wrote poems inspired by her, around the theme of climate change. Please enjoy these poems, created by yearContinue reading “National Poetry Day 2019”

Where my heart lies in the darkness of my safe space: creating safe writing spaces in the classroom

How do we change young people’s perceptions about poetry? How do we remove the blocks, the clamps that weigh us down, make us so fearful of writing freely? How can we release the incredible potential of the next generation’s creativity? These are all issues that I seek to open, challenge and address in my poetryContinue reading “Where my heart lies in the darkness of my safe space: creating safe writing spaces in the classroom”

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

“I Give You Permission” – latest update from my Young Writers’ Mentoring at Didcot Girls’ School

Within 3 minutes of settling down they are writing. 2 minutes later, I have a plethora of raised hands to choose from – all keen to share aloud the words they’ve just written. An observer would be impressed. And that’s just the warm up. At this halfway stage (week 10) in the mentoring programme, lookingContinue reading ““I Give You Permission” – latest update from my Young Writers’ Mentoring at Didcot Girls’ School”

‘Empowerment’ – by our Poets Laureate

  (Photo by Chelsi Peter from Pexels) I’m proud to be able to publish today the Didcot Girls’ Poets Laureate new commissioned poems. Nina, Kat and I met 6 weeks or so ago to look over their final drafts of these recent poems. Out lunchtime sessions are brief but wonderfully rich times when we chat about many things,Continue reading “‘Empowerment’ – by our Poets Laureate”

Showcase of the Short

My young writers at Didcot Girls’ School have made it to the half term breather, which seems like a good opportunity for me to take stock. We are six weeks in to the mentoring programme, and the poets have responded to my first call for submissions of work for this blog. So here they are,Continue reading “Showcase of the Short”

The Universe and Us

(Photo by icon0.com from Pexels) What is it to be free? What does it look like, for you? This week with my young writers, we had freedom in mind. We talked about personal freedoms. We discussed free verse and poetic form. We read a poem that’s overflowing with freedom in its use of language, music and powerful self-expression.Continue reading “The Universe and Us”

Patron of Writing: Looking forwards. Looking back.

Photo by Rakicevic Nenad from Pexels I have the best job in the world. I spent three weeks in November feeling right at home at DGS – huge thanks to the English team, who made me feel so welcome, and a special INCREDIBLY BIG thank you to the Year 9 students (all 270 of them),Continue reading “Patron of Writing: Looking forwards. Looking back.”

‘those so-called/ exams’

This blog is a platform for sharing many things, one of the most vital of these things being: excellent writing created by some of the talented students I work with in my role as Patron of Writing at Didcot Girls’ School. And here’s a poem by one of those talented students, Seth Gay (Year 9).Continue reading “‘those so-called/ exams’”