40 GCSE English Literature students attended POETRY LIVE! in Cambridge on 25th February.
This annual event is held at venues all over the country and tickets are always sold out. Consequently, the Corn Exchange was full with school parties from all over the Eastern region clamouring to experience the work of these poets first-hand as well as receiving advice as to how to answer the poetry questions in the literature exam from the Chief Examiner at AQA.
Particular highlights came Carol Ann Duffy (Poet Laureate) and Gillian Clarke, a great double act; Simon Armitage who came on to the stage reciting from his book Paper Aeroplane (brilliant – look it up!), leaving the audience almost as breathless as his delivery. This was followed by performances from Daljit Nagra (of Singh Song fame) and Imtiaz Dharker. Perhaps the great favourite was saved for last: John Agard, whose delivery using rhythm and patois electrify words to dance off the page.
But the final word should probably go to Armitage who, when asked by a student: “Why do you put all your frustrations into a poem?” Replied: “Better on the page than on the pavement.”