Last week, I hopped on a train up to Leeds to visit a session with the WORDCUP team from Leeds Young Authors (LYA). Khadijah Ibrahim, who founded LYA in 2003, met me at the Leeds Media Centre. Over the usual pre-workshop bustle of moving chairs and tables, she told me about the group, their annual visits to Brave New Voices in the States and the range of projects she’s currently working on. The amount of opportunities she creates for her students is incredible and I was excited to meet the WORDCUP team.
The team is part of the wider LYA group. In this session, they were working on personification as a way to bring life into their writing and make it stronger:
They read and compared poems by Sylvia Plath, hip-hop artist Common and Langston Hughes. They then put their heads down and applied the techniques these poets use to their own writing. I was impressed by the way they worked together as a team, sharing ideas and feeding back to the group. They clearly take the editing process seriously and are working towards some seriously strong poems…
At the end of the workshop, two of the team performed a poem about the experience of being a twin which had me sitting right up in my seat.
Watch out for Leeds!