Friday, 16 October 2009

Teenagers workshop

As you may remember, I taught a teenagers workshop the other day. It was a small secondary school class so not all of them were interested in being there. I think it's important to bear in mind whether a workshop participant is a volunteer or volunteered.

Anyway, we moved the chairs into a circle and I read them one of my madder poems (the football one in case you've heard it, originally published in the Derry journal Abridged)

then got them to warm up their creative muscles on an exercise suggested by Various Cushions. That had mixed results, some got it, some let their imaginations run and some were flumoxed.

Then I read a couple of How To poems - Wendy Cope. How to deal with journalists, One by William Carlos Williams (a long one) about how to have a funeral and How to Disappear and how to grow old (Warning by Jenny Joseph). Then wrote up some suggestions and got them to write a How To Poem.

They Wrote:

How to Overthrow the Government
How to Put your Teacher in a Good Mood
How to Make a Wedding Dress
How to Be Yourself
How to Be Angry
How to Fly
How To Win X-Factor

amongst others.

I had very few volunteers to read, no girls, total gender imbalance. But I promised not to make anyone if they didn't want to.

I read a couple more of my poems and ended with Wendy Cope - Song, which always goes down a storm. One even asked for a copy but I know Wendy is heavy on copyright and she's quite right. I told him he may be able to find a podcast.

And I'm going to get paid (soon)

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