Year 9 today embraced a poetry workshop run by Alan Parry, a published poet, who co-runs the broken spine poetry publishing company, which aims to publish less known and aspiring writers of all ages in both poetry and short stories (prose).

His aim today was to inspire young poets to get down their ideas on paper and make sense of them later, encouraging them to abandon the traditional ideas of rhyming poetry, to embrace a modern form of verse.

Mr Parry did live readings of 3 of his poems; Snowdonia, The Wren and Old Friends from his book Neon Ghosts, and encouraged the students to listen to them first, and try to understand the meaning before dissecting the poems apart. He explained that everyone’s interpretation of a poem is as good as anyone else’s, and that poetry is for everyone. The key thing students all noticed about these poems, and all of Mr Parry’s poetry, is that he disregards grammar, using smaller case letters instead of capital letters, and allows the stanzas to free flow across the page as if it was speech, and often uses hyphens instead of commas.

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The students had many questions for Mr Parry, such as what certain aspects of the poems mean, and why he chose the free-flowing structure, and why does the poem run back and forth across the pages. Many students asked what inspired Mr Parry to write poetry and not short stories. He explained that poetry is what fits him, and short stories fit other people, writers need to choose what they love to do and can do. He also encouraged students to write down the ideas they have whenever the mood takes them.

Our English department are hoping to have inspired some young poets and writers with this talk and hope in the future to have more guest speakers in, across all year groups.

Guest poet 3