Acclaimed poets hold writing workshops for Leicester pupils

University of Leicester

A group of Leicester secondary school students are to receive creative writing workshops from some of the country’s leading spoken word artists, as part of this year’s Leicester Literary Festival.

The festival is organized by the University of Leicester, who have partnered with national creative writing charity, First Story, to give students from disadvantaged areas a unique chance to learn from some of the world’s most successful writers. in the world.

Students from Winstanley School in Braunstone will participate in a workshop led by John Berkavitch and Andy Craven-Griffiths. Berkavitch is one of the most respected voices on the British spoken word scene, as well as being an internationally acclaimed storyteller and former British Slam Poetry Champion. Andy Craven Griffiths is a published poet, rapper, singer and one of Radio 3’s Verb New Voices.

Students will also get a taste of University life with a campus tour and experiential learning before embarking on the practical creative writing session.

Dr Harry Whitehead, director of the Literary Leicester Festival, said: “We are really delighted to be working with First Story to bring this unique experience to local students. The Literary Leicester festival aims to promote a love of reading and writing across different age groups and genres of writing. We hope this workshop will not only motivate and inspire students to pursue their creative writing goals, but also give them a taste of college life.

“Too many talented young people are missing out on the opportunity to pursue higher education due to common misconceptions and a lack of information. This is just one of the many things we do at the University of Leicester to improve access to higher education.”

Pippa Hennessy, East Midlands Program Manager at First Story, added: “We know that young people in low-income communities are much less likely to be able to access high-quality creative learning, so their voices feel less valued. and their stories go unheard. We believe that every very young person, regardless of their start in life, deserves a rich and creative education. Our workshops are designed to equip young people with the skills and confidence to tell their stories well and to thrive in life and education.

The Literary Leicester Festival is completely free and open to all. It will run from March 23-26 and will feature a series of talks and workshops led by world-renowned authors, including #1 bestselling author Adele Parks, Booker-Prize-winning novelist Howard Jakobson, the 2021 Costa Prize-winning novelist Monique Roffey and bestselling children’s author, Pippa Goodhart.

World-renowned travel writers Colin Thubron and Monisha Rajesh will discuss the future of travel writing post-pandemic and spoken word poetry will be performed by Grace Nichols and John Agard.

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