Poetry Party with Benjamin Zephaniah

On Friday I had the great pleasure of taking a group of children to share poetry with the wonderful Benjamin Zephaniah at Keats’ House, Hampstead.

Zephaniah, one of Britain’s greatest living poets, invited a group of children from a Camden school to Keats’ House, former home of another great poet, John Keats, where Benjamin Zephaniah is currently poet in residence for the party.  The poet and author performed several poems for the children throughout the day finally acquiescing to Talking Turkeys after the persistent requests of the kids.

The children also had the opportunity to ask every question they had ranging from the poets life to his poetry to Refugee Boy, a book that many of the children had read.

However, the best part of the day was Zephaniah’s invitation to the children and adults to share their own poetry.  The children did an amazing job, sharing some wonderful and sometimes very dark poetry written over the course of the last year.

I even shared a short poem of my own, reproduced here for your enjoyment.  This is written as an apology to all the children that I’ve taught.


I’m a Horrible Teacher

Everybody ready in 10, 9,

Sit down, please now!

8, 7,

Not now, Luther.

6, 5,

Don’t do that.
4, 3,
I’ve had it up to here.
2, 1.
Now we can begin.
It was a great day, one I think many of the children will remember for the rest of their lives, as will I.

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