Another School Poetry Workshop and other stuff….

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Evening everybody.  For those of you waiting with bated breath for the Sunday poem, I’ve decided to post it up this Sunday, so you’ll just have to wait.  But it will be worth it, I promise.  Because if I posted it now, it wouldn’t be a Sunday poem, would it?  It would be a Tuesday poem, and that’s no good at all.

I’m still very tired, and actually having trouble stringing words together, or thoughts in fact.  I slept really well Sunday night after the festival, woke up feeling pleased but exhausted, and then went off to do a poetry workshop at a school in Barrow with 15 children in a very small but perfectly formed Year 5 class.

15, I’ve discovered is a great number to run a poetry workshop with.  This is the smallest group of children I’ve worked with and they were fantastic.  That amazing thing happened again – the lesson flowed from one thing to the next – they started to become excited about language, and unafraid of it.  We talked about cliches and how to ‘push’ at them and open them up so they are not cliches and the children were shouting out ideas, bouncing off each other.  This started when one child said ‘as fast as lightning’.  I explained about cliches and asked them to push this further and another child shouted out ‘as fast as lightning, rummaging across the sky’.  ‘Rummaging’.  Isn’t that a brilliant word?  And all the other kids clapped when he said this – they recognised it was good.

The teacher and TA were really pleased with what the class had come up with and they are going to read some of the poems in their class assembly this Friday apparently.  So I really enjoyed running the workshop  – I could definately get used to this 🙂

And then I had a couple of hours off and it was off to Barrow Shipyard Junior Band rehearsal to celebrate our win with the kids.  I bought 38 easter eggs in a well known supermarket for a pound to say well done to them all.

We had a great rehearsal – we only have one left to get ready for a concert on the 26th at Ormsgill Primary School so we got out some music we’ve played previously and I could hear straight away the progress they’ve made this term – responding to dynamics and their confidence is just so high at the minute – it is lovely to be around and to be a part of.

My band made up of primary school children ‘Brasstastic’ came third in the Brass Ensemble section of the festival out of six and I saw some of those kids today as well and they were absolutely buzzing from the competition.  I hope they remember the feeling that I saw them with today.

My friend Jennifer Copley has the launch of her pamphlet ‘Mr Trickfeather’ alongside Ian Seed’s launch of his pamphlet from Like This Press at The Gregson Centre in Lancaster tonight. I fully intended to go, but I’m just too tired to make the hour and a half drive.  I do feel guilty about not going, as I promised I would, but I know for a fact that she got some VERY exciting news, as she was going out the door, so I feel less guilty now, as I think she will be floating to Lancaster on a little cloud.

So instead I’m sat here with my feet in the foot spa!  Tomorrow I’m back at the music festival again, this time for the ‘Class Music-Making’ competition.  I’m there with three classes: Year 3, Year 4 and Year 5 and they’ll be singing and playing their brass instruments.  Last year, the year 4’s got third place – but who knows?

None of this is getting any poetry written of course, but I’ve booked to go along to the Poetry Business Writing Workshop on Saturday – I’m meeting the lovely Holly Hopkins there and possibly the equally lovely Liz Venn so that should be good fun.  In fact that has reminded me – I could also hassle David Borrott and Martin Kratz and see if they are going to show their faces…

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