College Pupils Benefit from Workshop by Leading Poet

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Pupils from Halesowen College were given the unique opportunity to hear and learn from one of the country’s most accomplished poets at an event at the University of Worcester earlier this month.

Patience Agbabi, a former poet laureate of Canterbury whose work has been featured extensively on television and radio, read from her latest collection, Telling Tales.

The event was organised by Dr Tricia Connell, a senior lecturer in English at the University, and was designed to provide an insight into studying an English degree.

After Ms Agbabi’s reading, she and Dr Connell led a poetry workshop for the visiting pupils and a group of University of Worcester students, to work in detail on poetic form and to provide opportunity for creative writing.

Dr Connell explains: “The aim of the event was to provide an opportunity for a group of young people – who possibly haven’t got a clear idea of what being at university and studying English entails – to engage with the subject by seeing and hearing poetry performed.

“After Patience gave a fantastic reading, the workshops gave the pupils and our students a great chance to interact with her, and there were plenty of questions, laughter and lively exchanges between the poet and the audience.

“I was delighted by the feedback from the Halesowen College pupils. Most of them had not previously visited the Hive – Worcester’s award-winning joint University and public library – and none had been to a live poetry performance before,” Dr Connell added.

“Indeed I believe that most, if not all, of our students at the University have only experienced live poetry through their course. This shows the value in introducing young people to poetry and live performances, and developing interests and passions that might otherwise be left undiscovered.”

Dr Connell hopes to continue the initiative by offering similar opportunities to different local Further Education institutions.