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Regular news and insight from our many poets, writers, educators and facilitators

29 January 2022

Posted by Beth McKeeman

What is love?

Junior Writers - 9 Young Writers - 10

Baby don’t hurt me…

Perhaps that’s a specific joke that will fly over the heads of our young writers. The answers they gave for what is valentines day were near verbatim the same for each group – where people tell everyone that they love people – with a bit added on from the Young Writers about the martyrdom of Saint Valentine.

Also in a nigh on identical list, what types of love are there? Friendship. Family. Romantic (somewhat reluctantly added in by both). Pets (Much more enthusiastically agreed upon). Love for an object or activity. And finally, after a bit of prompting, love for yourself.

With February 14th fast approaching, what better time to write a love poem for any of these - especially when there’s a competition asking for entries.

The Junior Writers had a lot of love to give their pets. We had poems for cats and for dogs, we also had a lot of love for family and ourselves, including a rap.

We then looked at a bigger kind of love through Odes. We can create a picture of love through a different image, by the connections there - such as cake reminding Neel of his sewing group, which he loves, or Eva’s Dad’s burgers being a picture of her familial love, or a stethoscope bringing about the image of Tess’ grandfather.

The deadline for these love poems is the 7th, and more information can be find here.

The Young Writers, as part of their Explore Arts Award, went on a quick hop across to the John Hansard Gallery to look at Derek Jarman’s work - a prolific diarist who inspired the diary competition we started last week.

Derek Jarman was a gardener, photographer, artist, film maker, and diarist. We had the pleasure of seeing some of his photography and paintings. The repetitive focus on his garden in his pictures was a big talking point for our writers, how he used different angles to create images of the same thing in new ways, and a painting of a spider caused quite the stir.

Another artist on display was Niamh O’Malley, a modern art sculpture artist. We were asked to think about how her art made us feel, and how we thought the pieces would physically feel even though we weren’t allowed to touch them.

Go to the John Hansard Gallery this February to check them out for yourself, I’m sure any of our young writers who are planning to use Derek Jarman for their Explore Arts Award will find their way back there.


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