Read about the first Performance Poetry Day here.
Bridget is an inspiring young writer and performer who spent the day working with a select group of fourteen and fifteen year old students. She carried out workshops to develop their skills in storytelling, creative writing and performing. The day ended with students performing their work to their classmates.
At the start of the day, the students seemed a little embarrassed and nervous. Bridget encouraged them to tell stories about themselves, in part to get to know their names but also to help them relax. The group consisted of high ability students, both boys and girls, with varying levels of confidence - some had been selected specifically in the hope that this event might boost their self-esteem.
Throughout the writing workshops, the students revealed their creativity, impressing Bridget and their classmates. Some are First Story veterans, but many would probably consider themselves reluctant poets, so I was thrilled by how engaged they became with the writing.
In the last lesson of the day, after Bridget had worked with everyone in small groups to develop their performance skills, all the students stood on the library stage and read their work. There was great variety in the subjects explored (as Bridget had given them free reign to write about whatever they wanted to), and in their performance styles, each student revealing their true colours through how they held themselves in front of the mic.
On a personal note, it was so nice to spend the day with Bridget - she is clever and open and is brilliant at working with kids, making my day so easy and enjoyable.
Here is a little sample of some of the students' work, from Y9s, Renad, Ulfat and Mukahang:
As a trio we agree
What a poem should or shouldn't be
Although each of us a different nationality
We are all beings of abnormality
To each on our own
Our own stories to be told
Though we all came from different places
We all have one person in our heart spaces
Our inspiration plays a big role in our lives
Our motivation, our hero, our mothers.
We would like to thanks the John Betjeman Poetry Competition for Young People for making this event possible.