Poet Luke Wright Visits Kendrick School

On Tuesday 25th and Wednesday 26th June, we were delighted to welcome the award-winning poet Luke Wright to inspire many of our poets. Luke is the author of twelve books and travels the country performing his work – after Reading (where he was also performing with John Cooper Clarke at Reading Town Hall), his next stop was Glastonbury Festival!  

Luke led two workshops for students in Years 8-10, as well as giving a lunchtime performance of his work for students in Year 10 upwards and staff. Over the course of these two days, we got to enjoy a wide range of his work, from longer (and hilarious) narrative poems like ‘Fat Josh’ and ‘The Ballad of Edward Dando, the Celebrated Gormandiser’ to shorter, moving poems such as ‘Clocks’, ‘Reading for Pleasure’ and ‘Peak’. He even wowed us with a univocal lipogram (a poem using only the vowel ‘a’) entitled ‘Spad’!  


In the workshops, Luke shared different stimuli with students to help them to express their ideas in new ways. The Year 9s and 10s used John Cooper Clarke’s ‘The Pest’ as inspiration for their own entirely alliterative poems, thinking carefully about the character and mood created by their chosen letter. Year 8 students wrote their own responses to Robert Seatter’s ‘I Come From’ and Simon Armitage’s ‘Not the Furniture Game’ and relished the challenge of finding new ways to describe both themselves and others. 

Here are some of the students’ comments on the workshops:   

‘I enjoyed the Poetry Workshop with Luke Wright, very much. Additionally, I appreciated the way Wright could effortlessly switch between an upbeat and jovial tone of reading, to a more sombre and melancholy tone.' I also liked that this workshop was an interactive one, and I loved the idea of adapting the two poems we looked at, to suit ourselves. I would love to do this workshop again, and I hope a similar opportunity will arise very soon.’ - Eva, Year 8 

‘What I liked the most were certainly the poems that Luke Wright performed. They were interesting and the way he presented and acted them out was very impressive and added a humorous element to it. I learnt about different poets’ styles and that you shouldn't be afraid to copy another poet's format to help you with yours! I developed my understanding of what the career of a poet is like and types of poems eg: ballad. It has inspired me to maybe try them out sometime.’ - Eshaal, Year 8 

‘My favourite part about the workshop was Luke's performances. I really hadn't seen anything like them before, and it gave me a new window into what poetry could look like.  I learnt a lot about what it's really like to work as a poet, and how there are multiple different ways to make a living that aren't simply limited to live performances. Not to mention, something I really feel like I took away from this was that poems can cover topics both serious and light-hearted and that they don't have to be constricted to anything, whether it's rhythm, rhyme or even length.’ - Adaora, Year 8 

‘I really enjoyed all of the elements of the workshop. More specifically what I liked from Luke's visit was seeing how he performed his own poems and hearing what life is like as a full-time poet. I also really enjoyed him helping us to analyse the poems he gave us at the workshop and ultimately helping us write our own versions. I think he really allowed us to understand how to start writing a poem from a blank piece of paper as well as how to see some hidden details in poetry/poem performance (e.g. in the structure).’ - Roberta, Year 8 

‘What I enjoyed most about the poetry workshop was the opportunity to immerse myself in poetry through reading, discussing and listening to poetry. This experience taught me that poetry is not only a writing on a piece of paper but that it’s heartfelt and meaningful’ - Saanvi, Year 9 

‘I really enjoyed the workshop with Luke Wright as, from his own experiences, he helped us to understand the true forms of poetry and how to develop what we write. The writing activity was very enjoyable and intriguing as it helped us to face challenges that we hadn't before. I'm so glad that I got the opportunity to meet and talk to a poet who has inspired me to continue to develop my work.’ - Inaaya, Year 9 

‘I really enjoyed the event because it was the first time I had experienced someone reading out their poem in such a way that I felt I learnt a lot about performing as well as writing.’ - Usmi, Year 10 

‘I found the poetry workshop quite fun and I enjoyed having to create a poem with the constraints of a certain style as it let me be more creative.’ - Evie, Year 10 

You can read some of the students’ poems below; eight students will also perform their work at the Creative Arts Festival Showcase for a wider audience.  

Many thanks to the Kendrick School Trust for generously enabling this visit to take place!  

Mr Stephen Dilley, Head of English