(photo by Suzi Corker )
Even before making my debut as a writer/performer, I was interested in the ways poetry and creative writing could empower individuals and bring groups and communities together. The first creative writing group I ran was at a day centre for young disabled adults and I now have over 25 years of experience in facilitating groups and projects with people of all ages in a variety of community contexts. I’ve co-ordinated a year-long oral history project on a housing estate, run an inter-generational pen-pal scheme between children and older people and worked in a multitude of spaces including libraries, day centres, residential homes, museums, moored ships, steam trains, shopping malls and street corners. Here are a few of my more recent workshops and residences...
Whatever the Weather
Funded by Arts Partnership Surrey, this was a ten week poetry pen-pal scheme between Year 2 students at Walsh Memorial School, Shorefield Day Centre users and residents of Japonica Court, a sheltered housing complex. I facilitated the sessions and acted as poetry postman delivering each group’s weekly letters to the different groups. The sessions finished with a celebratory performance by the young writers and their older compatriots.
Young says I’m as strong as a lion Old says I’m as weak as a teddy bear Young says I can climb the stairs quickly Old says I climb the stairs like an Octopus Young says I’ve read 50 books Old says I’ve read a thousand Young says, I never wash my hands Old says, I always wash mine Young says I wish I could ride a bike Old says, I can. Ouch! I’ve pulled a muscle!
Poetry Is A Horse
at Palace House, The National Horse Racing Museum with All Saints Primary School
Poetry is a horse we all can ride Poetry is a horse with a rhythmical stride Poetry is a horse with drumming hooves Poetry is a horse with funky grooves Poetry is a horse A horse that moves us. With Year 6 Pupils at All Saints School.
I worked with Palace House and teachers and pupils from Years 2, 4 and 6 at All Saints School on a literacy project which creatively explored links between poetry and horse racing using the visual, textual and oral stimulus provided by the museum. The climax to the project was a fantastic Poetry Promenade Performance at Palace House. I wrote an educational resource which has details of some of the games and poetry writing exercises and stimulus we used. You can find it here
Southend - Our Friend
Southend, we salute you You’re a seaside rose garden From the loooooongest pier in the world To our adventure island
I spent an ejoyable few days this summer with a group of great young people from Turning Tides. Together with the staff from The Forum library and the talented filmmakers Signals we created and recorded a film poem all about where we live, Southend.
To see the full film visit Vimeo