10th October 2018 — The day started with Paul performing some of his work to the whole school in two assemblies. His performances prompted lots of thought provoking questions and proved to be inspirational. This motivating start to the day was followed by a series of workshops which inspired the children to write from their hearts and to think of poetry in a totally different light, focussing on the theme of the devastation of World War One. The day culminated in a fiercely competitive House poetry competition - the children’s performance of a range of War poetry was compelling. With Paul Mortimer as judge, the children were enthused to perform and receive practical and measured feedback. Overall the day was a stunning success due to Paul’s passion and ability to connect with an audience that ranged from Year 3 to Year 8.
Born in Wales, Paul Mortimer’s debut poetry collection was published in 2015 by Lapwing and nominated the following year for the Seamus Heaney Centre Prize for Best 1st Collection. The poems from the book were also the sole inspiration for a 44-work art exhibition by five artists that toured the south west of England in 2016. Over the last two years he has headlined at a number of poetry events and appeared at poetry and literary festivals. Paul’s work has also appeared in magazines and anthologies and has been short-listed for the acclaimed Bridport Prize which attracted thousands of entries from all over the world.
Ms Jackie Wheeler, Head of English and Director of Studies, commented: “The children were inspired to write some truly moving poetry based on Paul’s own incredibly touching poetry as well as his measured and thought-provoking creative sessions with the children. A true homage to those who gave their lives in World War One, and those who suffered, for our freedom.”