Popular poet brings National Poetry Day fun to The Perse Prep

Top poet Paul Cookson brought plenty of laughs and smiles to The Perse Prep with his special National Poetry Day visit.

Paul, who has produced more than 60 poetry anthologies for all ages in a career spanning more than 30 years, kept pupils entertained with a dynamic performance of his hilarious verses.

He ensured they got involved in the fun with lots of audience participation, occasionally accompanied by the ukulele, and even encouraging teachers to join with the actions to some of his poems.

As Poet in Residence for the National Football Museum, Paul also fittingly performed the title work from his new soccer-themed anthology Football 4 Every 1.

Paul is a wonderful performance poet and he put lots of smiles on all of our faces.

Ros West, Librarian

On a more serious note, Paul provided inspiration by reading aloud Windmills, his first poem written at school aged 10, as well as his most well-known work Let No-One Steal Your Dreams – a thought-provoking verse outlining to pupils why they should follow their ambitions.

Having previously visited the Prep in 2018, Paul said he was delighted to return, especially following the Covid-19 lockdown.

He said: “It’s great to be back and in front of a live audience because that’s where poetry comes alive.

“You can’t beat that interaction where you can see the children’s responses. We’re laughing at each other and we’re laughing together which is really good.

“All poetry should be read out loud because it brings it to life and when you get audience participation, it becomes a bit like a panto, especially when you’ve got the teachers joining in.”

Librarian Ros West, who organised the event, said: “It was amazing to have Paul here with us. He’s a wonderful performance poet and he put lots of smiles on all of our faces.”


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