This week my Monday was a joy, spent in the company of the wonderful children of Hargate Primary School, in sunny West Bromwich. It was sunny, it was a lovely day.
I first met Hargate Primary when they sent a group of 15 children to The Hurst in Shropshire, for a week on Arvon’s schools programme, at which I was one of the tutors. Since then I’ve become their Poet in Residence, visiting the school every term to celebrate poetry with all ages of children.
On Monday I worked with Years 4, 5 and 6, and we played first at telling what could be a truth, or could be a lie, and I had to guess which was which. In the process, I get reminded of the children’s names!
Then we all enjoyed Robert Seatter’s well-known poem, ‘I come from’, before writing our own versions. So many fantastic lines:
I come from wanting a hamster and a parrot
I come from a house full of havoc and phones
I come from Sandwell Hospital with fireworks outside
I come from a cup of tea
At lunchtime I took my cup of tea to the library, made poems with visiting children, and we read together. At the end of the day I gave a reading, and fielded lots of questions from bright-eyed children enriched by a great range of languages and cultures. Hargate is a very special place. There’s a lot of humanity about.
My involvement in the Impressions of the Past project continues! A big, varied group of families and individuals from the local community converged to meet ceramicist Ruth Gibson and I in Pontesbury a couple of weeks ago. We all walked up through the green lanes and footpaths to Poles Coppice. Ruth got everyone making clay impressions, and I handed out Poem Notes booklets. Everyone set off to explore and write and make.
out of an owl’s eye/ the different/ views of winter
(part of a poem I put together using words the participants gave me up at Poles Coppice – you can read it here).
At lunchtime, we all headed back down to Pontesbury Public Hall, where archaeologists Mike and Teri gave a talk and slide show. Seriously channelling the Iron Age now, everyone set to and created new poems –
and I wrote one based on words I’d collected from the participants during the walk.
It’s World Poetry Day on Saturday March 21st 2015, and to celebrate, and as Poet in Residence for Wenlock Poetry Festival, I’ll be hosting an exclusive workshop at the Shrewsbury Museum and Art Gallery.
I’m going to be leading a poetry workshop sparked by the world’s marvels, helping you map untrodden paths into new poems through a series of engaging activities and prompts. Bring with you a picture or an object which represents for you one of the Seven Wonders of the World! The workshop will also set aside some time to discuss and edit your emerging work.
The workshop will run from 10am – 12.30pm.
Tickets are priced at £18 (to include coffee, tea and biscuits).
Places are limited so booking is essential. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org with your contact details to book a place.