Hopes & Fears

1 Feb

Just to recap; Shake the Dust is a nationwide youth poetry slam, giving young people the opportunity to work with leading spoken word poets to write, perform and compete with their words.

So I’ve been paired with poet Michelle- ‘Mother’ Hubbard and we’ve been allocated Tuxford Academy in Newark! Michelle and I will work with young people from the school and coach them into developing their creative writing and performance poetry.

Michelle suggested that we keep a journal of our Shake The Dust charting our journey, growth and whatever else we want to share- I thought this was a magnificent idea as I am a lover of documenting experience’s- I feel it helps build a lasting legacy of any experience and a useful devise for gauging personal growth…

So here I go my first journal entry, I shall begin by detailing my hopes and fears. Michelle and I have both agreed to be honest about our feelings- so i hope i don’t offend anyone- it’s just how I feel!


I hope my travel sickness doesn’t reoccur from my childhood while traveling to Newark. To be honest I’m usually fine on motorways if I sit in the front seat and if I’m armed with a flask of ginger tea. The only problem I foresee is that Michelle and I will have to take meandering country roads to arrive at our destination, and although I value the chance to witness beautiful English countryside my stomach doesn’t share the same sentiment!

I hope that the pupils will embrace new experiences and challenges and be willing to stretch themselves. I don’t particularly mind if they don’t like poetry, or think that they can’t write/perform poetry but I do mind if they aren’t willing to try,

I hope that I will be a good, constructive support to Michelle and the young people.

I hope that Michelle and I are not judged on our complexion or the post-code that we live in. I say this because I have a pre conceived image of Newark- and it doesn’t involve many ethnic people! I my be wrong- i admit, i have never been to Newark before- but like i said i’m being honest about how i feel. I hear that it’s a small ex-mining town and looking at the school website there didn’t seem to be any ‘brown’ faces in the school. I hope I’m proved wrong, but my past experiences on small mining towns are reminding me of strange looks, racists stereotypes and cultural mis-understandings. I hope that if there are not many ‘brown’ faces in Newark that Michelle and I will help develop the pupils positive experience’s of interacting with people from different cultures and even to use this subject to inspire poems.

I hope that Michelle and I will leave a poetry legacy at Tuxford Academy and inspire the youths to use words creatively and eloquently.


I fear that I forget my thermos flask filled the magic travel sick remedy ginger tea and that I make a right old mess of Michelle’s car, turn up at assembly with my breakfast sprayed across my clothes and in my hair OR Michelle kicks me out of the car and I’m stranded between Nottingham and nowhere.

I fear that the pupils fail see the importance and fun in using words and that they come away without any form of mental/creative growth.

I also fear that they are unwilling to relinquish any pre-conceived negative stereotypes that they my have.


(a mouthy poet and a dust shaker)


2 Responses to “Hopes & Fears”

  1. mouthypoets February 2, 2012 at 11:24 am #

    Hello there, Anne here: How funny! Newark to me as a relative newcomer to Nottingham is a big Waitrose, Antique shops and people who live there for the quick commute to London for work, a place with money – I’m sure there is another side to it – my colleague here at work is saying it’s really rough round the edges! I think of it as a market town, not a mining town – I don’t know what the school will be like but I know you and Michelle and know that you will be judged by your personalities – Michelle radiates sunshine and you are lively and hard working and exude enthusiasm for words and communication! How could they resist the pair of you?

  2. mouthypoets February 13, 2012 at 1:06 pm #

    Ioney you really are an amazing blogger and I feel like every time o read something of yours it becomes more and more engaging. You will be amazing and you have no end of support from shakers and mouthy and Michelle!

    Debris x

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