Contact: new poems by the SBS Poet Laureates

‘Contact’ was the last commission given to Ianto Carter and Elliott World, this year’s Poet Laureates at St Birinus School. It feels like a relevant and timely theme to reflect on, as England continues in national lockdown. It continues to be a struggle to maintain enough contact with others. And how much social contact isContinue reading “Contact: new poems by the SBS Poet Laureates”

Poets of 2021

I’d like you to meet the Saint Birinus School new Poet Laureate team: Ianto Carter and Elliott World. They’ll be writing back to their experiences, thoughts and the world in general, over the course of this year, with me guiding and mentoring them in their writing. I’m already excited by the way Ianto and ElliottContinue reading “Poets of 2021”

Heart-stopping words from our SBS School Poet Laureate…

Frustratingly, our St Birinus School Poet Laureates didn’t get the chance to perform their poems to the school community this term, due to school closures. However, school closures definitely don’t stop us from being, from thinking and creating … and here’s the proof: Please take a moment to stop and take in this latest commissionedContinue reading “Heart-stopping words from our SBS School Poet Laureate…”

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”

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”

I’m a writer. Do I feel inspired?

We’re now on week 3 of our Young Writers’ Mentoring programme 2018/19, which I run as part of my Patron of Writing role at Didcot Girls’ School, so it’s high time I posted an update, methinks! I guess what impressed me most at first about my new cohort of 23 year 9 and 10 students,Continue reading “I’m a writer. Do I feel inspired?”

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.”