But the Ledbury Poetry Festival is far from being a once-a-year flash in the pan. It works throughout the year to promote poetry amongst people across the age range. And as part of this work, I had the great good fortune to be invited back to Ledbury last week to work in a couple of local schools.
What did I get up to in these schools? Well, I’ll let the Cradley News tell you:
‘Poet and photographer Anneliese Emmans Dean entertained us all with her brilliant ‘Buzzing!’ show – a selection of her wonderful poems and stunning photographs with musical interludes. We also learned quite a lot of science along the way! Anneliese worked with all the children throughout the day: Years 3 and 4 wrote beetle haiku poems; Years 5 and 6 wrote minibeast poems and Key Stage 1 became a giant millipede!’
There are some very talented budding poets down Cradley and Bromesberrow way, and I very much enjoyed working with them and watching them perform their poems at the end of the day. I was also thrilled to read some of the poems that KS1 pupils had written in class after our Millipedes Galore workshop. Take a look at this wonderfully imaginative piece from Owen, for example:
There are also some talented naturalists. When I got to the ladybird section of my Buzzing! show, for instance, the pupils at Bromesberrow told me they had a whole crowd of ladybirds in the very room I was performing in. So, I went to have a look, and lo and behold it was a cluster of Harlequin ladybirds.
I had heard of Harlequin ladybirds massing like this, but I’d never actually seen them doing so. They provided a very useful springboard into our beetle poetry writing. But I’m not sure I’d like a whole host of them in my house!
I’d like to say a big thank you to everyone involved in my Herefordshire adventure, including the wonderful Fran Godfrey, who ferried me through beautiful countryside to the right schools at the right time, Victoria Patch and Chloe Garner of Ledbury Poetry Festival, and Alan who allowed us to stay in his beautiful house.