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On Monday 11th March, as part of our World Book Day celebrations, we were very lucky to welcome poet Giovanni Esposito AKA ‘Spoz’ to Hillgrove. Spoz has been astounding audiences with his poetry, both young and old, since 2005. In that time he has been Birmingham’s Poet Laureate (2006/7), performed at Glastonbury Festival and Cheltenham Literature Festival to name just two of many and has facilitated poetry workshops at hundreds of schools, both in the UK and abroad. He has also been commissioned by the BBC on several occasions and even popped up on The One Show.

His enthusiasm for the spoken and written word, as well as his previous victories in Slam Poetry competitions ensure he is able to excite even the most reluctant reader about poetry.

Spoz conducted two large workshops in the hall. He worked with Year 9 in the morning for a double lesson and repeated the workshop with Year 10 in the afternoon. All students learned how to write their own quatrains (stanzas of four lines) with a regular rhyme scheme on the themes of love, then hate. The students had a lot of fun experimenting with language and ideas and enjoyed sharing their finished poems with the rest of the group.

The students also analysed an unseen poem called ‘Flag’ by John Agard before experimenting with writing their own stanzas for it in the same style; there were some excellent responses.

A very lucky Year 11 class enjoyed a shorter version of the workshop before lunch and they came up with some very creative ideas.

The students remained engaged throughout the workshops making it a very enjoyable day for staff and students alike.

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