Young Poet Laureate Update - Bronya Marsh

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Lyndsay, the project manager of Human Writes has been catching up with our young poet laureates in Bristol. 

Here is what Bronya Marsh had to say about her summer, the project, and poetry. 

How has the summer been since you became a Young Poet Laureate?

Really good. The Arvon Foundation week in June was amazing! We all gained so much knowledge and the 6 of us  really bonded. Joelle and Anthony were amazing and made the week fun (albeit emotional) and developed our poetry so much.

I also went to see Caleb Femi  perform which was really inspiring.

Tony Walsh came to my school and I had the opportunity to meet and discuss poetry with him, find out his tips and gain his advice which was exciting.

What have you been up to (poetry wise) since the Arvon poetry week?

I have been attempting to use some of the skills we learned on the Arvon week to develop and write some more of my own poetry.

I went to Joelle's book launch in July with everyone, and got a copy of her book 'Songs my Enemy Taught Me' which is really the first poetry I have read apart from anthologies within school, and it is insane! The themes within it are so important and so  interesting and she has clearly done a lot of  research. It was so cool to see the ideas that she had been teaching us in workshops etc on the Arvon Week in her own writing and obviously she is so unbelievably talented that it really encouraged me to write more of my own poetry and try and get some of the passion that her writing involves into my own.

How have the skills  you gained on the poetry week helped you with your writing?

Honestly they have helped so much! Before that week I hadn't really written much poetry so really had no clue what to do. Whilst we were there I found it so difficult as I think everyone did, but in the afternoons when I had time to write I'd notice myself using the techniques they taught us and gradually over the week I had some more confidence.

My writing now is completely different to how it was before that week and that  is because the quality of teaching was so good that despite many tears over it being too hard to write good poetry, it has benefited me so much in the long run.

I am continually thinking when I write about the tips that I was given, and even what the other young poet laureates would say.  Due to sharing a room with Sophie, she'd read and give an opinion on what I wrote and I still find that helpful.

I think being around young people who  enjoy poetry for a week made it such an enjoyable experience and also hearing what they wrote in the end of week performance was incredible because their writing is so good!!

Have you found inspiration in anything since visiting the Arvon Foundation? If so, what? Why?

I think I am mainly inspired by my experiences. As mentioned Joelle's book and poetry is a big inspiration as well as seeing her perform again at her launch.

What poetry plans do you have for your allocated library/school? Will you be organising workshops, tutorials, guest speakers etc?

At the moment in school I am working on running workshops. Within our sixth form every Wednesday afternoon is 'enrichment', where we can do anything that is beneficial, so I am organising to have poetry workshops run within that time. There is also the possibility of a school talent show so if that goes ahead I will be looking to run a couple of workshops in advance in the hopes that some people who enjoy it can enter the talent show.

We are also looking  to do some workshops  with our local youth hubs as a way of taking poetry to them and inspiring them with it.

Have you been writing much poetry?

I write when I can. A lot of my poems are unfinished and I always find myself starting poems and never finishing them, that's something I need to improve on.

What do you hope to get out of this whole experience?

I think I would personally like to develop my writing of poetry. It has improved so much already and I am really enjoying it so that's something I'd love to continue.

This experience so far has taught me so much about spoken word and how different it is from the poetry that is taught at school and that is something I'd love to be able to share with other people because once you listen  to all different types you realise how broad and powerful it is.

This  belief has only been emphasised by watching  Joelle and  Anthony perform and Kayo Chingonyi (who came and performed for us at the Arvon Foundation).

What is it that you like about poetry?

It's a form of expression. Every single person has something different to say and deserves to be heard and with poetry it can be said in so many ways and  can be a beautiful way to show anger or sadness or whatever you are feeling. It is also so different from what is deemed to be 'poetry' and it is  so passionate, thought provoking and impactful.