About Me

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Bristol , United Kingdom
I'm co-director of the Leaping Word Poetry Consultancy, which provides advice for poets on writing, editing and publishing, as well as qualified counselling support for those exploring personal issues in their work - https://theleapingword.com. My fifth poetry collection, Learning Finity, is now available from Indigo Dreams or directly from me.

Friday 25 April 2014

Raise The Roof And Kiss The Sky

And so to the finale of the Bristol Spring Poetry Festival 2014 - the inaugural primary poetry slam, held in the pink and gold serenity of St George's Bristol.  
Upon arrival, all was calm.  Sound and light technicians were doing technical things with sound and light, and the four intrepid poets-turned-mentors who'd gone into four of Bristol's primary schools to work with their Year 5 pupils in preparation for the day's event were fine-tuning its organisation.

Indeed, there was an almost palpable air of orderly productivity.  

Then the surface tension on the judges' jug of water began to quiver ... 

... as the auditorium filled with 500 pupils from Ashton Gate, Bishop Road, St Mary Redcliffe and Whitehall Primary Schools. 
Time for a little last-minute coaching ... 
... before the judging procedure was explained ...
... the sacrifical poets warmed up the audience ... 
... and the children got the chance to practise making as much noise as possible.  (It turns out they were very, very good at this.)
And then we were off, all 16 teams, with names such as Dangerous Doughnuts, The Monster Mashers and Word War III, strutting their stuff through four heats and giving an excellent account of themselves.  

In the end, Zombie Apocalypse from Whitehall School emerged as winners in a contest which saw the roof raised to a height of about five miles and the sky very definitely kissed, almost into oblivion.  

Best of all, the knowledge that 500 impressionable young minds  - and hopefully a few older ones as well - would be leaving with a rather different idea of poetry and the limits to which it will take you.  

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