Monday, 23 January 2012

Shake the Dust

This spring I'm happy to be involved in a project called Shake the Dust run by spoken word organisation Apples & Snakes.

Shake the Dust is a celebration of the spoken word and will get young people into writing and performing their own poetry. My role is to assist another poet (the brilliant Mike Parker) delivering workshops in schools. Well, funnily enough my job description is "Shadow Poetry Coach", so for me this year is all about being a shadow (because shadowing is also what I'm going to do for my Swenglish project)

Last week I went to the first training session with poet Jacob Sam-La Rose. He insists on trying all the writing exercises himself before he tries them on his students. A very sound idea! The Poetry Coaches and their Shadows had to use their heads and pens and come up with a group piece.

Jacob calls this method "row writing": you write for a couple of minutes on a given theme and then pass the paper on to the next person. Our group came up with a very funny piece on the theme of truce called "It's easy to forgive a pet". We then performed this poem, standing on a line, looking angry at first and then moving closer together. I'm now looking forward to see what the teenagers make of this exercise ...

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