Mandy Coe Brings Poetry Together to Levenshulme High School

Mandy at LevenshulmeWith just over a week until the final deadline for Poetry Together, you’ve still got plenty of time to buddy up with a parent, grandparent, carer, older sibling or friend to write a poem and enter the competition!

This week poet Mandy Coe visited Levenshulme High School with the Manchester Children’s Book Festival team. At the request of Assistant Librarian Emily Powell, teachers left their classrooms behind and partnered up with the Writing Squad to work on their entries for the Poetry Together competition.

Mandy Coe got everyone in the mood for poetry by reading a few of her own poems. Each of the poems Mandy selected showcased different ways in which two people might approach writing a poem together.

Teachers and pupils then worked in pairs to have a go at producing their own, using some of Mandy’s lines as a starting point. The ideas flowed and all too soon, Mandy stopped everyone to move onto the next starter activities. With teachers and pupils taking turns to respond to a series of questions, the group were soon exploring ideas, senses and language to include in their poetry.

Before we knew it, the session was over but the buzz in the room was infectious and, with promises to meet up in the library to finish some of the poems that had been started, pupils and teachers left reluctantly to start their afternoon lessons.

With just 5 minutes to take a breath, English Teacher Sophie Lownds welcomes her Year 9 English group to join the fun who were another lively and engaged group, keen to get involved and share their ideas.

With even more ideas for writing collaboratively, the young writers, having practised writing poetry together, promised to take the ideas home to try out on parents, elder siblings and other over-18s at home.

Manchester Children’s Book Festival Director Kaye Tew commented,

“We’ve had a brilliant day writing poetry! It’s amazing to see such brilliant work and it shows you what can produced in such a short time! The staff and pupils at Levenshulme High have crafted some excellent entries and we know that other schools are doing the same – And from all over the world, too!”

Don’t miss your opportunity to win £500 in vouchers, or to get 100 copies of your poem professionally designed as a postcard that you can send to family and friends. If you’re struggling to get started why not begin by completing some of Mandy Coe’s lines like we did at this session…

We lived in the wind …

But the wind …

We lived in the distance …

But the distance …

We lived all alone …

But we …

We lived in our imaginations

And …

If I were Light I would be …

If I were small, I would be …

Crossley Road, what do you see?

My red front door, what do you hear?

There are plenty more resources available here to help you on your Poetry Together journey! 

Poetry Together is a Laureate Education project, sponsored by the Co-operative Charity Partnership as part of the British Red Cross campaign to combat loneliness.


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