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03 May 2023

Posted by Antosh Wojcik & Claire Hillier



ArtfulScribe are really excited to be working with Hounsdown School once again, this time building poems on the theme ‘Bearing Witness’ in preparation for group sharing and celebrations at WORDCUP 2023, run by Apples and Snakes. Year on year, Hounsdown writers have demonstrated absolute skill and craft in their poetry and performance, so we’re excited to see how they engage this subject.


Our first session has focused on generative writing time – the group writing poems interrogating the theme of ‘Witness’ ahead of their slam next week – which will determine which poets will be going forward to WORDCUP.


We had writings on witnessing people change via social media apps, how shadows see the world, the role of protest and advocacy in witnessing & what it means to witness someone lose confidence.


There’s such a creative spirit of curiosity and dedication in these young writers, fostered by their teacher and support staff. We can’t wait to hear their words fly next week! 

When: Wednesday 03rd April 2023

Where: Hounsdown School Library

Who: (Poet Coach) Antosh Wojcik, (Assistant Poet Coach) Claire Hillier.


Welcome to the WORDCUP 2023 Adventure!

Poet Coach, Antosh, opened the workshop session with some important questions;

●     What is poetry?

●     Why do we write poetry?

●     What are the challenges with writing poetry?

The group came up with some thought provoking responses;

●     A way to say something without saying it

●     It helps us express

●     Let off steam

●     It’s like singing but easier

●     Making sense

●     Imagining

●     Word choice is confusing

●     Hard to get started

Antosh performed a poem he had written about his sister, or the experience of witnessing his sister go through something.

Then the group began a discussion on the theme of ‘Witness’. This produced some excellent observations and perspectives - all things that should help with generating ideas for poems and seeding some original ideas.


What is Witnessing?

Who can be a Witness?

What types of events can be Witnessed?

●     Witness each other

●     Anyone/people

●     A fight in the playground

●     Domino effect

●     Animals

●     A wedding

●     Seeing something

●     Trees

●     A murder

●     Doing nothing/powerless

●     Nature

●     Crime

●     responsibility

●     Objects

●     A birth

●     Internal conflict

●     Paintings/pictures

●     Time passing/the everyday

●     trustworthy

●     Technology

●     Change

●     proof/guilt/regret

●     Social media

●     Growth

●     watching/stand back

●     Nobody

●     creativity/expression/art


Then we did a writing exercise. A freewrite on the theme of Witness/Witnessing. Keeping in mind the discussions we had about point of view, emotion, unusual perspectives and narrator reliability.

This was followed by the opportunity to share.

The exercise inspired some really interesting and strong pieces.

And finally we set a homework challenge. Keep developing the drafts produced today, or maybe even being a new piece inspired by today’s workshop, ready for the next session.

Enjoy spending the next few weeks developing your poems.


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