This is me- Hayley Frances -at three

I –Hayley Frances – am a shadow to a former poet laureate of Birmingham; the coach; the Brummie-est man I have ever come across in the best formidable way; Mr Giovanni Esposito or as I and many call him – Spoz. A treasure to Birmingham’s nature, I’m dazzled to be shadowing his experienced stance in the land of creative writing, let alone delivering workshops to young people as his assisting facilitator (my mind is happily developing workshop plans). His mod punk ways may have a rub off effect on my writing as our time together within this project continues, which would be great because I am yet to write a comical rendition of life like Spoz’s poetry and song, and to produce one will defiantly be an achievement.

Shake the Dust have generated a word army; a creative facilitation of unique individuals; a collective to satisfy the ears of a generation; to develop a nation of teens through words made from the fields of imaginations back garden. What this entails is creative participation with young people, encouraging them to respect, understand, create and use poetry, in all of its formats, for personal development as part of the huge national poetry youth slam – Shake the Dust.

Injecting wordsmithery into the home of Worcestershire’s first young Poet Laureate – Woodrush High Schools Youth Group of Wythall– will be thought provoking and challenging, as this will be my introduction into teaching the art of writing Poetry to teenagers.  Although Shake the Dust have provided me with this poetry platform, I do have experience teaching performing arts to young people as I used to be a dancer. I may not have been famous (and no, I have not continued or aspire to be the next Fred Astaire) but I did practice dance throughout college which lead me to teach children and young people hip-hop and street dance for competitions in many places throughout England.

Urban dance practice came after a year of inspirational time with the group, and so London came knocking at my door with wide eyes and excitement, and I fell hopelessly in love with poetry, movement and hip-hop. The year of study brought realms of understanding and urban knowledge to the for front, and as I teamed a minor in Creative Writing with dance I realised that writing is what I needed to do as writing can reach the souls of its listeners.

Poetry is tied to many things in the performance world and became a way for those who felt like they had no voice to retrieve emotions looped in the depths of their bones back to their tongues. It’s a stage within itself to perform stories that lay resonant  in the neighbourhoods of the earth. To me, poetry communicates in cryptic and creative ways, through songs and cyphers and is the basis of world renowned plays in many cases, and I look forward to imprinting these actions into the minds of our future by teaming such with other means of performing arts (urban dance) relative to the spoken word.

Right now, Shake the Dust teams craft poems to go head to head in regional slams for a chance to compete in the national slam held in the nation’s capital. London, with the world at its feet, will be lucky enough to witness poetry champions from the countries education pockets in the up raw of the Olympics, as they write the odes for a champions legacy.