I very much enjoyed the Poetry by Heart finals at Homerton College, Cambridge last weekend – it was powerful, hearing all those poems read so brilliantly, and the atmosphere was electric by the end of the afternoon.
I led writing workshops with the finalists and their accompanying adults (teachers and parents). The students wrote really well, as I thought they might, having spent so much time learning and thinking about poems. They had a real feeling for what they were writing. It was also good to hear what the adults wrote. It’s so interesting leading workshops with people who haven’t written before, or at least not since school. One of the adults said to me, after a workshop, that she lived with a writer, and, although she understood what he was doing, and could appreciate his work, she could never really understand why he did it, why he wrote, until now.