Young Poets Are Inspired; Laureate's School Visit Is Real Coup

Article excerpt

Byline: KATE PROCTOR

PUPILS' poetry was lavished with praise as Poet Laureate Carol Ann Duffy visited a North East school.

The award-winning scribe spent the morning at Whitley Bay High School listening to poems that students of all ages had written especially for her.

Topics as wide-ranging as the seaside to celebrities were covered by the youngsters, who all attend the school's weekly creative writing club.

After reading her own work, the Glaswegian poet said: "I was really impressed with all of their work.

"The pupils are just fantastic and talented and had such great performance skills.

"Some of them are like world-class performers the way they delivered their poems."

The work of the first female Laureate is studied by students taking GCSE and A-level English across the country. And having such a literary star resident in the school's library, made one or two students justifiably nervous. Sixth former Jamie Moore, who read a poem he wrote about a tortoise, said: "I was terrified! Reading for Carol Ann Duffy has been very nerve-racking but incredible.

"She is so inspiring and the poem I read to her was about a tortoise, which fitted in well with her unorthodox style."

Sixth former Joe Hubbard also took to the stand to perform his poem Interloper, while a younger pupil roused a chuckle from the audience with her verse, called Any Idiot Can Write A Poem.

Eager teenagers also took their books to be signed, including Duffy's 1999 book The World's Wife, often studied in schools, and her latest book The Bees, published in 2011. …

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