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12 July 2023

Posted by Claire Hillier

WORDCUP - Hounsdown Session #8

12.07.23: WORDCUP 2023 - WESSEX TEAM - blog journal #6


When: Wednesday, July 12th 2023

Where: Hounsdown School - English Department

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

Session #6

The WORDCUP 23 Wessex Team - our last workshop before the big event,

The final check in, asking if our day was a shape what would it be?

Antosh: a parabola - a day that’s gone ‘woo’

Ava: a square - a regular day

Cassie: a triangle - a bit of a bad day

Lucy: a rhombus - who knows what's going on, but I like it

Rhai: a circle - different but still good

Kitty: a triangle - solid base, unpredictable, no legs

Xenya: an explodey thingy - goes into a new shape

Sam L: a square - simple, reassuring, you know it when you see it

Sam C: a cube - a cool shape, easy

Claire: a zig zag - lots of travel back and forth

●     Miss Nobes: screen shape - admin square!

Following the check-in we went over the MAST showcase event the night before. All the poems were really high caliber, performances were great, but the most impressive thing was the spirit of support and collaboration, not just for each other but also for the other school. It felt important to acknowledge and appreciate this with the students.



Antosh pulled up the weekend schedule and the food menu. We looked over the running order of events and got clear in our minds about what to expect from the weekend. It was good to gain an idea of the structured schedule around rehearsal time, performances, and workshops.

We also got pretty excited at the prospect of pizza.

This was also a good opportunity to share the school mobile number, and make sure it was in all our mobiles - Miss Nobes will have this phone at all times.

Then we sorted out a travel meet up plan around the train times. For the outward journey and making sure everyone was getting picked up on Sunday when we got back.




●     Contact number


The class discussed the showcase experience and reflected on what went well, what we might have done differently and what we learned. It was collectively agreed that this had been a great opportunity for a dress rehearsal and performing the pieces on a bigger stage helped. [We were super proud of everyone's engagement, work ethic and creative process]

A few things that came out of the chat -  identifying areas that the group felt needed editing

The Last Tree: Kitty, Rhai, Sam L, Sam C, Xenya

Excellent imagery + confidence in performing

Lack of clarity?

Needs foreshadowing/the woodcutter

Unison/parts speaking to each other

The chorus line?

●     Building tension + drama around the ambiguous ending

Somewhere between a Meal Deal and Death: Ava, Cassie, Lucy, Amy

Bringing in subjects/making parts about studied subjects

Linking to the title

Existential questions

●     Creating tension with time pressure



Both teams set to work re-drafting their poems.

The majority of the session was spent crafting the pieces, implementing the changes discussed and practicing the lines. We also had a go at timing the performances. This identified that both poems were well over the 3 min time limit. It was a very useful experience.

We all went through the pain of editing - a big lesson in poetry discipline. Letting go of lines and re-drafting poems is next level skill.

Antosh spent most of the session coaching The Last Tree group.

Claire spent the session with the Somewhere between a Meal Deal and Death group.

This focused time really helped shape the poems, bringing out the best elements, and beginning to sharpen the performance potential.

By the end of the session, both groups had made major progress, but they had a bit more to do, so we left them with a clear plan, and made arrangements to review their pieces in the allocated rehearsal time.

It’s been such a delight working with the school and students.

We couldn't have asked for a better experience.

We have every faith that they will be brilliant at the upcoming WORDCUP event in Manchester and represent the best of Wessex’s budding poets.



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