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Poet helps inspire young writers

Poet Paul Cookson meets pupils from Norham High School.
Poet Paul Cookson meets pupils from Norham High School.

Poetry was on the timetable for a group of students.

Children from Year 7 at Norham High School and Years 5 and 6 at Collingwood Primary School were entertained by writer and performer Paul Cookson during a visit to the high school.

Paul has been a poet for more than 25 years, with over 60 titles and a million book sales to his name.

The prolific writer encouraged his young audience to take part in his recital of funny and interactive poems, with singing, chanting and funny gestures added for good measure.

At the end of the event, pupils got the chance to meet Paul and take part in a book signing.

Kimberley Ellis, from Year 7 at Norham High, said: “It was brilliant to watch Paul perform and then meet him afterwards.

“I thought poets were quite serious people but Paul was really funny and we couldn’t stop laughing during the assembly. It’s really made me think about poetry in a different way.”

Norham High School takes part in the Northern Children’s Book Festival (NCBF) every year, welcoming a different writer into school each time.

David Baldwin, executive headteacher, said: “Paul’s wit and wisdom made such an impact that our pupils haven’t stopped talking about how much they enjoyed his visit.

“We believe it’s really important for children to develop a love of literature in all its forms, and we’re extremely grateful to Paul for bringing his own truly unique brand of poetry to the pupils.”

“We’re also indebted to North Tyneside Libraries for enabling these visits to happen, year after year.”

As well as being a published poet, Paul is also Poet In Residence at the National Football Museum in Manchester and his work has appeared in over 200 anthologies, on school posters, art installations, beer mats and even burger napkins.

His work has taken him all over the world – including visits to Argentina, Uganda, Malaysia, Singapore and Beijing and featured on Match of The Day, Radio 5 Live, Radio 2, The World Service, CBBC, and more.

For more about Paul Cookson visit www.paulcooksonpoet.co.uk