2010’s Trailblazers

Read their top tips for teaching poetry and try out their lesson plans.

Peter Carpenter

Peter Carpenter is a teacher at Tonbridge School and he has taught English since 1980 in secondary education. His fifth collection, After the Goldrush (Nine Arches) follows Catch (Shoestring) and The Black-Out Book (Arc). He is a Visiting Fellow at the University of Warwick and was Creative Writing Fellow at the University of Reading from 2007-08.

His poems appear in many magazines including Poetry Review, London Magazine, the TLS and Poetry Ireland Review; he is a regular reviewer and essayist for Use of English. He has co-directed Worple Press since 1997 and has edited books of poetry by Iain Sinclair, Anthony Wilson and many others. He has performed and taught at many venues including the Arvon Foundation, the Aldeburgh Poetry Festival, Ways With Words, The Troubadour and the Poetry Café.

Allan Crosbie

Allan Crosbie is Principal Teacher of English at James Gillespie’s High School in Edinburgh. Two previous winners of the Foyle Competition have come from the school, one of them, Julia Rampen, twice in consecutive years. There have been several in the top 100. Gillespie’s students have been successful in other poetry competitions in Scotland: in this year’s National Galleries Writing Competition and the Scottish Poetry Library’s ‘Homecoming’ competition, Gillespie’s students dominated in the 12-15 categories.

Allan was a runner-up in the 1998 Arvon Daily Telegraph Poetry Competition and was short-listed for the Forward Prize for Best Individual Poem in 2001. His first collection, Outswimming The Eruption, published by The Rialto in 2006, was short-listed for The Jerwood Aldeburgh Prize in that year. He edited the anthology Such Strange Joy published in 2001 to celebrate the tenth anniversary of the Edinburgh-based poetry group, The Shore Poets.

Sezgin Kemal

Sezgin Kemal, Head of English at Newstead Wood School in Orpington; is passionate about poetry. The School’s twenty year old writer -in- residence programme has been a great personal pleasure, with poets : U.A.Fanthorpe, Alan Brownjohn, Carol Ann Duffy, Benjamin Zephaniah, Kate Clanchy and Michael Donaghy to name a few, coming through the portals of the school to teach students. Our production of an annual ‘Words and Music’ anthology shared by students and staff alike has been a communion of talents.

Sezgin and the nine strong English Department always put poetry at the top of the English agenda. Collage work and Julia Cameron’s The Artist’s Way are emotional engineering tools and offer pathways into the poetic mind. Sezgin enjoyed running workshops for Bromleys Celebrations of Darwin’s bicentennial this year and continues to use poetry in every English lesson.