PERFORMING poet Ash Dickinson popped into Steyning Grammar School to deliver a powerful message to students.
The multiple poetry slam champion has performed all over the world and he used his experience to inspire students in years eight to ten.
During the course of the day, on Monday, December 9, he ran several workshop groups as part of his ongoing crusade to make poetry accessible, interesting and engaging for students, and to encourage them to have fun with language.
Literacy leader Cheryse Rahaman, who organised the visit, said: “The workshops are designed to inspire students through a contemporary approach to poetry.
“They encourage students to be confident and inquisitive and comfortable in the world they live, using language with ease and to deliver powerful messages.”
Ash spent an hour with the students, giving them a flavour of his unique style of contemporary performance poetry, delivered with passion, energy and wit.
He opened with a short poem about love, followed by another about Star Wars and one about a fridge called Chiller Queen.
He has performed all over the world, appeared in five Edinburgh Fringe Festivals, the Cheltenham Literature Festival and headlined many shows and events throughout the UK.
Delivering a cool combination of rap, rhyme, repetition and wry wit, he proved to be a gifted poet, as well as a great comedian with a sharp eye for social commentary.
The students were taught the poetry styles haiku and clerihew before being given the opportunity to make up their own poetry.
Ash said: “I only got into writing poetry when I was 23 years old. I have found that poetry can provide a focus when you are struggling with something in your life, it can really help to write it down.
“If you write down your feelings in a poem it can make people think, and feel and it can entertain people.”
He said the students had been surprised by what poetry could offer and they produced some great work.
“Those that have previously been really resistant to poetry have come round really quickly.”
The poetry workshop showed there are different ways of communicating.