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14 June 2023

Posted by Antosh Wojcik & Claire Hillier

WORDCUP - Hounsdown Session #4

Antosh’s Report:

We return to Hounsdown School to write with the WORDCUP poets. We’ve embarked on some generative processes that have encouraged the individual writers to share their ideas and writing on the set theme of ‘Bearing Witness’.

This week, we’re further identifying our ‘Open Theme’ responses and we utilise Jacob Sam-La Rose’s Roll Writing technique to hone in on group responses from the same prompt. The young writers would then offer their favourite response per prompt and we’d read them in sequence, to create a crowdsourced poem in response to the prompt. It was a new way of creating for those in the room, and the young writers embraced this challenge and introduced some surprising and illuminating responses. These will form the bedrock of our WORDCUP poems and effectively source this open theme. A part of this process has been about empowering the young writers to take the lead on their subject choice and written responses.

Claire’s Report:

When: Wednesday, June 14th, 2023

Where: Hounsdown School - English Department

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

[collective nouns from the classroom - a ‘worship’ of writers]

Welcome session #4

The WORDCUP 23 Wessex Team and reserves gathered in a hot classroom,

We opened with a check in, asking if our day was an ice-cream what would it be?

Antosh: pistachio

Xenya: an eton mess - a mess

Sam: Mr Freezey ice pop - hard to open

Kitty: pistachio - expected to like it, but it's actually bitter

Rhiannon: lots of scoops - all balancing on top of each other

Ava: bubble gum - don’t like it

Cassie: melted

Amy: vanilla - standard

Sam C: watermelon sorbet - refreshing and nice

Ella: sour lemon + lime: sweet and sour

Claire: a twister - confusing

●     Miss Nobes: a big sundae - a lot to get through

Following the check-in we discussed the upcoming poetry events we need to be ready for;

  1. MAST Slam on July 4th in Southampton

  2. WORDCUP Showcase on the 14/15/16th July in Manchester.

We reviewed the poems we need to work on collectively. The two categories are:

  1. Theme of ‘Witness

  2. Open Theme’ [Objects - theme chosen by the team].

We also want everyone to work on/bring an individual/solo poem to the MAST showcase on the 4th of July.

Then we set to work generating ‘Witness’ themed group poems - via a Roll Writing exercise.

Firstly we individually wrote responses to the themes;

  1. Witnessing…



The everyday


●     The unknown

Then everyone contributed their best line or phrase from each prompt - we created 5 excellent and exciting group pieces from this exercise. (these were shared with the group and written down for next time)

Time to work on those ‘Objects’ poems.

We then revisited some of the individual Ode’s the team had been working on last time:

Ella’s - Ode to Earth

Cassie’s - Ode to Words

Sam’s - Ode to the trees

Antosh then created new prompts from lines/observations from these Odes. We then invited the group members to individually write in response to these prompts;

1.    Come up with your own Titan

2.    Being…

Being you…

Being pets…

Being drama

Being nothing…

Being grass…

3.    Chatting to…


A black hole

A fridge

The stress jumper


4.    Build on you…

5. Write a formal thank you letter to something


The poets then looked through their freewrite responses and selected the best parts/sections from these - we then went randomly around the room sharing these ideas and nuggets of poetic gold. The collaborative energy and creativity was first class. The collective poem was brilliant!

These poems are going to be typed up and cut up for next week's session - where we will focus on the crafting and editing process.


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