The majority of Year 11 students went to Friends House in Euston, London for the Poetry Live that was being presented there. The venue was huge and I’m pretty sure I almost got lost twice, but at least we had very good seats. The poets present included: Simon Armitage (Remains), Maura Dooley (Letters from Yorkshire), John Agard (Checking Out Me History), Carol Ann Duffy (War Photographer, Before You Were Mine), Imtiaz Dharker (Tissue), Daljit Nagra (Singh Song!) and Owen Sheers (Winter Swans). Throughout the day, these seven poets read aloud these poems and more, and then answered our questions on what inspired them, why they used a certain word/phrase, or how these stories can inspire us. We also covered two poems and compared them, as if they were part of the unseen poetry syllabus, and had one of the winners of the Simon Powell Poetry Prize read his winning poem.
I believe it was an eye-opening experience and very motivational for us all in Year 11 for our English GCSE examination, as well as truly inspirational for aspiring writers such as myself. I hope to use their feedback in the actual exam and in real life. If I could say one person who I thought was my favourite poet of that day, I’d have to say John Agard - I’m sure many other students would agree with me! He wasn’t just funny, but relatable, which is what makes him the very successful poet and author he is.
Rebekah Blazey, Year 11