One thing that is unique about Shake the Dust is that up and coming poets get a chance to work with more experienced poetry workshop facilitators. My coach Mike Parker has gradually given me more and more responsibility, and as a result my confidence has grown both as a poet and a person.

I hooked up with two other shadows from the South East: Tina Sederholm who works with poet coach Rosy Carrick at Quilley School of Engineering in Eastleigh and Matt West who assists Steve Larkin at Harrow Way Community School in Andover.


What’s the best about Shake the Dust so far?

Tina: Seeing people come out with poems that ten or fifteen minutes ago they didn’t know they had in them, the look on their faces: “Wow, I did that.”

Matt: Working with Steve, working with a professional performance poet and learning from them


Do you have a special moment you want to share?

Tina: When one girl turned up with a book of poems she’d written [at home] after our first workshop

Matt: Seeing year 8 students excel in comparison with their year 10 counterparts, having that confidence in an untrammelled way


What are your expectations for the final?

Tina: My goals is that everyone has a really good time and come out with lots of enthusiasm and inspiration to continue as poets and performers

Matt: Don’t know, I live life without expectations, the zen way, but it’s a brilliant platform for poets to work together and promote the spoken work


Both Tina and Matt feel confident that they will continue to run workshops on their own once the project is finished and I can only agree. We have already stepped out of the shadows!