This set of creative writing ideas is taken from a text written some years ago – Crafting Poetry: Original Writing for GCSE [written coursework, still available for assessment at the time]. All of the ideas were built around poems by the writer Phil Bowen – with a few others – and his reading/performance of these.
The history leading up to this is I had invited Phil to work in my school a few times as a visiting writer, and his ability to engage students with his personality, performance/reading and distinctive poetry was always a huge success. Always.
My friend and colleague Martin Phillips had worked with Phil Bowen too, and through Martin’s English advisory work with Devon County Services and running of the Digital Media Education Centre, he engaged Phil to be filmed reading and discussing some of his and other writers’ work. I wrote the accompanying booklet of creative writing ideas based on these.
The book and DVD from this project are no longer available, but I will present a selection from this here for you to download and use if you wish. One of my key intentions is to eventually use Phil’s poem Blue Docs and provide his reading for this, but that may take some organising. I have received permission to use that poem from Phil, and I will work on how to select and make available his reading online. Blue Docs became the most successful ‘copycat’ poem I ever used in working with students to engage and encourage their creative writing and using it as a template/model – more on this when I am able to post.
I am presenting here a set of creative writing ideas based on Hands, and this theme was prompted by Phil’s poem Blue Hands which he also read and discussed in the film, though I cannot provide this too. Rather than rewriting these, they are scanned from the original booklet, with the addition of new headers – in colour!
The following resources were written for students so the explanations, suggestions and support should all be self-contained within them: