Yesterday saw the launch of the La Luna Young Voices poetry project at Franklin College. This project provides an exciting opportunity for young writers to develop their writing craft both for performance and for publication. Later this year La Luna will be publishing an anthology of writing from the young people involved in this project.
Special guest poet Antony Dunn came to Franklin College to deliver a workshop for the young people. Antony is a gifted and inspiring teacher and it was such a pleasure to see the students engage in some challenging exercises, and to hear the work they produced which was full of wit and inventiveness. Antony encouraged the students to work to develop their thinking and to run with their thoughts to see how far they could take them. This led to them being able to fully realise their ideas on the page.
Following the workshop we adjourned to the Franklin garden for tea and poetry with an appreciative audience. Antony is a seasoned reader and is compelling to hear. He introduces poems without paraphrasing them and gives profound insight into the poetic imagination that is the heart of his work.
Alongside Antony, the young people read their work, several of them for the first time. In fact for one student it was the first time she had allowed anyone to see her work. Her courage astonished and moved me.
Every one of those young people who read in the garden yesterday gave voice to something unique and beautiful about themselves. The honesty, openness and authenticity of their work was powerful. It felt like a great honour to be there, hearing their words and knowing that La Luna has the time, the money and the expertise to help these young writers to grow over the course of this project.
The project continues later this week when Nick Triplow and I will be getting down to the business of submissions, editing and handing work over for that all important critical feedback. I am looking forward to seeing the work on the page and to working with Nick, the students and their wonderful teacher Carolyn Doyley over the next few weeks. I think the outcome will be a truly magical book.
Thanks and credit must also be given to Brooke Downing, photography student at Franklin whose photographs not only capture the participants but also the spirit of the day.