A busy week for World Book Day 2016

Poem by nursury school class

It’s a busy time for a poet this time of year, and for schools, what with dressing up and doing lots of reading and great creative writing.

The poem in the photo (inspired by my I Like What I Like – see video below) was written with Nursery Children at Audenshaw Primary School, Manchester as a class effort. We performed it at the end of the day to the rest of the school. I was there to celebrate World Book Day 2016 and worked with every age group. A wide variety of excellent poems were written and performed. I had a great time, so thanks to all the staff and pupils for working so hard and for making me very welcome.

In all I visited seven schools just before and during World Book Day Week. Thank you to Abingdon Primary School (Stockport),  Gorton Mount Primary Academy (Manchester) who have a fantastic steel band who played for me, Old Hall Drive Primary Academy (Manchester), Alexandra Park Primary (Stockport), Broadfield Primary (Oldham), and (last but not least) Silverdale Primary Academy (Newcastle-under-Lyme).

Thanks also to Authors Aloud who organised a couple of the bookings.

I like playing in the park
I like tig and hide and seek
I like swimming and paddling
I like what I like I do

I like ice cream and Mexico
I like Sealife and Lego
Let’s say hello to our Leo
We like what we like we do

I like flowers and rainbows
I like hopscotch and videos
I like porridge it fills me up
I like what I like I do

‘Light’ Poems at Tithe Barn Primary School (Heaton Mersey, Stockport) on October 5th

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I spent a great morning with a fantastic Year 6 class and their poetry loving teacher. I performed some of my poems and then got them writing. We kept to the National Poetry Day theme of ‘Light’ (which complemented the work they’d been doing in science).

As their teacher regularly gets them writing poetry I found they needed very little stimulus. I began with a short exercise based on the senses (e.g. If you could taste light what would it taste of? If you could hear it and it spoke to you what would it say? One answer was I’m faster than you!).

I then gave them a few writing options and suggestions to trigger their poems.

Light Bulb Moment – If you had a bright idea what would it be? What might you invent?

Trick Of The Light – I thought it was a…..(table?, tree? )
But it was a….(dog?, ghost?)

Lights Out – When the light goes
What lurks in the shadows?

Before lunch we managed to hear their new poems and fitted in a Q/A session where they asked me about writing and my life as a poet. A very satisfying morning. Thank you Tithe Barn for such a warm welcome. I left feeling quite light-hearted.

A quick promo video for 18 August filmed at St Johns Hall Gallery

For anyone who may be in the vicinity of Barmouth on Monday 18th August and wants to come along to either the Family Fun poetry workshop at 11am or the one just for adults at 2pm (for more info see earlier post), here is a video of me talking about what we will be doing.

Join me and write poetry in Barmouth on Monday 18th August

Barmouth Workshops w Logo FREEI’m running two poetry workshops on Monday 18th August 2014 at St Johns Hall Gallery, Barmouth, Wales. If you’re in the area I hope you will come along.

Family Fun Poetry Writing 11am to 1pm

FileySchoolWebThis is a session where children and grown-ups can have some fun writing together. I’ll start the session off with a short performance (including guitar) to break the ice and stimulate writing ideas. I’ll then give you ideas, themes and structures based on what you have heard me perform, and then help individual pairs and groups to polish these into poems or songs. To finish off we’ll have a performance of the new poems.

If you’d like to hear some examples of my poems, I have a selection on YouTube, which are on my website here.

The event is FREE thanks to support by National Theatre Wales TEAM. Sorry we cannot have unaccompanied children.

Adult Poetry Writing Workshop 2pm to 4pm

I’ll start this session with a few short writing exercises as a warm up, and then we’ll use photographs and the pictures in the gallery as a stimulus for writing new poems. I regularly write poems to accompany a photograph and will illustrate how to do this and then let you all work on your own with assistance if you get stuck. The group can then read out your poems to each other for the experience of performing and also for feedback (but this is not obligatory).

The event is FREE thanks to support by National Theatre Wales TEAM. Sorry no children for this workshop.

How to book

To help us know how many people to expect, please book a place by sending an email to bookings@bernardyoung.co.uk with your name, which session you want to book and how many people will be with you. But if you don’t have chance to book, please do turn up on the day anyway.

What to bring

Just yourselves. We will provide pens and paper. A jumper or cardigan is a good idea if you feel the cold as the hall can be a bit chilly if you are sitting still writing.

How to find the venue

The address is Art on the Hill Gallery, St Johns Hall, St Johns Hill, Barmouth, Gwynedd LL42 1AF.

The gallery is in the centre of Barmouth. There’s a turn off the main road (A496 King Edward Street) opposite the station, up a short hill. You should see a sign at the junction saying “Gallery”. Some parking is available on site. The map below should also help.