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Poetry in Motion

Senior School

10 February 2023

It was a case of poetry in motion when the English department travelled with Year 11 to the 'Poetry Live' event at the Derngate Theatre, Northampton this week.

They were privileged to watch and listen to some of the nation's most highly regarded and famous poets: Carol Ann Duffy, Daljit Nagra, Imtiaz Dharker, Simon Armitage, Owen Sheers and John Agard. The poets not only performed some of their oft anthologised poetry, but also performed some of their newest, unpublished work. A notable feature was John Agard, who delivered from a scrap of paper (Guinness-stained, no less!) a poem inspired by the character Lady Macbeth, as well as another poem entitled 'Tongue'. Fantastic stuff.

Peter Buckroyd, a senior examiner, also appeared on stage to guide the audience through sections of the bespoke 'Poetry Live' booklet, giving the 1,000 students gathered top tips on how best to approach unseen poetry and how to effectively compare two poems, which was most useful. Our very own Carmen got the chance to put her hand up and ask Simon Armitage the following question about one of his poems: "In the poem 'Manhunt' you juxtapose emotional tenderness with physical brutality in a very touching way. What was your thought process behind writing this poem?" Armitage, our current national Poet Laureate, answered helpfully, complimenting Carmen on her question. 

The day was thoroughly enjoyable and will live long in the memories of all who attended. The experience has further helped to bring the IGCSE blue anthology to life, just in time for their public exams in May and June.

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