On a glass-clear day at the end of January, I set off with David Armitage of Malvern Hills AONB, Karen Gregor, producer of ‘Ramblings’, and the one and only, marvellous, Clare Balding. We were taking a poem for a walk, as part of Ledbury Poetry Festival‘s Troubadour of the Hills project, which is a joint venture between the Festival and Malvern Hills AONB. Also with … Continue reading Troubadour of the Hills does Radio 4’s Ramblings!
Happy New Year! It’s 2019, and the Troubadour of the Hills project is filling my thoughts. It’s such a lovely poetry job to be asked to do. The project is a joint venture for Ledbury Poetry Festival and Malvern Hills AONB, and it was launched on National Poetry Day in October. I’ve already done some schools work, taking local children into the woods under the … Continue reading Troubadour of the Hills
I’m back from a fantastic day in Hargate Primary School. The joy of being their Poet in Residence just grows with every visit! This time, a tiny little girl stopped me in the corridor at break, looked up and said, “I’m going to be a poem”. She smiled broadly, and skipped away, and it all made me so happy. Today I was mostly in Year … Continue reading “I’m going to be a poem”
I’m just back from a most inspiring and exciting week at The Hurst, tutoring a band of marvellous young poets from Hargate Primary School. My co-tutor, Wajid Hussain, was just great to work with, and he has a lovely manner with the children. The staff from Hargate are just exceptional, and they worked their socks off encouraging and supporting the children, who are only 10 … Continue reading Shy Snowdrops & Trees Upon Trees
Back to my throne in Shrewsbury Museum this morning, for a second day of Spellwrighting with the hordes of young witches and wizards enjoying ‘Museums are Magic’ weekend. I absolutely love the way they get into writing a spell – I say, “So what kind of water do you think we should put into this spell?”, and they reply, “Definitely running water”. For example. And … Continue reading Be as quiet as a sheep in the dark…
Museums are Magic! I’m being The Spellwright for two days of wizardry at Shrewsbury Museum and Art Gallery. The Museum lent me the most magnificent chair and table. There was a Stuffed Owl and goose feather quills… Everywhere were bright and sparkly kids in Hogwarts cloaks and gowns. They turned up clutching potions they’d made, and requesting spells -everything from the power to freeze time … Continue reading Widen your eyes, tie a knot in your handkerchief
“Its fur is soft as pollen” she says, and waves her wand. I’m writing a spell for a small girl who wants a kitten. “This may take some time to work”, I warn, mindful of her concerned parent. I spent today at Courtyard Arts in Hereford at their wonderful Family Festival, packed with dragons, witches and unicorns. Ledbury Poetry Festival were there in support. The … Continue reading A day being The Spellwright in Herefordshire
I’m celebrating National Poetry Day by adding this post about another marvellous day spent being Poet in Residence for Hargate Primary School in West Bromwich. I go in usually once a term, sometimes more, and this is our second year of partnership. I love the way it’s becoming more and more collaborative and creative. It’s really exciting to be among such inspired teachers and … Continue reading Am I growing or am I flying?
This August I’ve been writer/blogger-in-residence at Museum of Cannock Chase, providing an outsider’s eye on all the wonderful and extraordinary things to be found inside the museum – and then flagging it up on a lovely new blog, which you can find here. The idea of the new blog for Museum of Cannock Chase is to create a place where you can find out more … Continue reading Writer/blogger-in-residence this August
Outdoor Magic is a collaborative project based at Hereford Community Farm, and funded by Ledbury Poetry Festival. I’m working alongside the wonderful artist Jeanette McCulloch, and with the people who come regularly to the Farm. Hereford Community Farm provides inclusive therapeutic land based activities and skills training for people who face disadvantage through disability, ill health, social need or any other condition or situation which has an … Continue reading Making ‘Outdoor Magic’