School's Out For The Summer

The Poetry School group I work with has disbanded for the summer. A bittersweet moment, as such partings after a project well done always are. I have so much enjoyed working with them - they're talented, smart, and very good at supporting but also honestly critiquing each other's work. This year, the group included Kai Adams, Emily Berry, Mike Kavanagh, Samantha Jackson, Katrina Naomi, and Alex McRae. They've won prizes, have books out or pamphlets out, or on the way, and have completed or soon will commence, MAs, and PhDs. They're active.

Whenever I count my blessings - and should more often - I consider the chance to work with these (and other) poets through the Poetry School, and at Kingston, high on the list of good things. Poetic faith is renewed by such mentoring, by such fine students - students who become peers, and colleagues, and sometimes, friends, with their dedication and goodwill. I sometimes hear writers question the value of teaching creative writing, but surely, at least one of its virtues, however selfish, is this - it replenishes and inspires the teacher, since the students can have exciting new ideas about writing, and, among other things, are often reading unexpected works.
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