Our sixth form college launched its first collection of poetry this week. Titled “The Book of Overwhelming Stuff,” the book contains poems by more than a dozen of our students, native British learners and ESOL learners alike. The poems explore everything from anxiety and mental health to war and genocide. The work was written during weekly Poetry classes with the wonderful Kate Clanchy, an award-winning poet, novelist, non-fiction writer and teacher. She is known for her decades of work with refugee communities and young learners – inspiring them and enabling them to write and publish poetry as an outlet for creativity and expression.
Here is a poem from one of our students, Dung, an ESOL learner and future poet in the making.
And another devastating poem from two of our students from East Timor, Geniva and Nora.
After receiving the printed books in the mail, we held a school-wide assembly this week to give the students the chance to read their poems out-loud or have Kate read them. We think it was an incredible opportunity for our students to have a window into each other’s lives – to experience another’s hardship through beautiful craftwork. We believe that art can be healing and can bring us all closer together.
Well done to all our sixth form student who contributed to the book, and once again, a special thanks to Kate Clanchy.