For year 11’s every year, an event takes place in Manchester where a selection of poets from the GCSE anthology read and discuss some of their best work. Yesterday the trams were packed as AGGS students embarked on their voyage to the Bridgewater Hall to witness this ground-breaking event.
The poets included:
-Carol Ann Duffy
As well as a very useful session with the AQA examiner for the poetry exam.
Gilian Clarke and Carol Ann Duffy kicked off the day with a reading of their poems, including some that were not studied as part of the “GCEC” course.
Next was Simon Armitage, AGGS’ beloved poet. In fact, Miss Devlin and Miss Strickland even hunted him down, behind the scenes to get a picture (see below) and a recording of a poem he missed, highly requested by pupils.
The day proceeded with Grace Nichols, who read a very moving poem entitled ‘Praise Song for My Mother’.She was followed by Imtiaz Dharker, who read a variety of poems regarding war, as well as her Pakistani heritage.
Last but not least was John Agard, who was one of the highlights of the day (after Simon Armitage of course!). He started by performing his poem from the anthology, Checking Out Me History where he talks about how in Guyana he was always taught about British history, and never about his own.
He ended his session with some inspiring, wise words to the audience, teaching them that to be a good poet you don’t necessarily need to be good at English- all you need is a passion and love for words.
Overall the day was a huge success- thank you to the English department for organising the trip!