A group of Year 8 and 9 students took part in the Ilkley Literature Festival Words in the City Poetry Slam on Tuesday 26 March.
The students took part in a workshop with Sai Murray (writer and poet) and Alison Smith (Education and Outreach Worker, Ikley Literature Festival) where they developed a poem in a group on a topic of their choice. They developed the poem throughout the morning, adding to it and altering it before presenting it to a panel of judges.
The top five teams then progressed to an afternoon session where they worked on refining their poems even further. At the end of the day the students presented their poems to a panel of judges. The judges had a difficult decision to make as the scores were so close and all teams were commended for the quality of the poetry they produced.
Team Different and Team Majec were the two teams that will progress to the final, competing against teams from other Leeds schools at the Carriageworks.
Team Different said: “We were shocked and surprised to get through. Today was amazing!”
Team Majec said: “We were surprised! We found today interesting, seeing how different poetry can be, it doesn’t have to be the same.”
Alison Smith and Sai Murray were really impressed with all the students and their use of detail and description in their poetry. Alison said: “There was a lot of energy and enthusiasm and this was some of the strongest work we’ve seen out of the Poetry Slam schools.”
At the final event, Team Different and Team Majec will work with professional poets and writers on spoken word performance and will perform the poem as a group on stage.