The Forest Education Centre is a Hampshire County Council educational provision and part of Children’s Services, providing educational opportunities for pupils between 11-16 years of age.

Poet Coach: Chris Bennett

Chris Bennett is a professional storyteller, performance poet and actor. Chris is also a published writer, cartoonist and illustrator. Chris has extensive experience of delivering performances, workshops and training in all of these areas and has particular expertise in early years and primary settings.

Shadow Artist: Paul Cree

Paul is a writer and performer from Surrey. His background is rooted in music, having come from a family of musicians and beginning his foray into writing lyrics as a MC and a rapper. He has since gone on to write poetry and short stories and perform spoken word and also in theatre as an actor. He has performed at established London venue’s such as The Roundhouse, Battersea Arts Centre, The Barbican, as well as festivals such as the Edinburgh Fringe, Secret Garden Party, Beachbreak, Lounge on The Farm and Meadowlands.


Redbridge is an exceptional school that is at the very heart of its community. A strong ethos of care and respect permeates throughout the school, in which the learning and success of each individual is paramount.

Poet Coach: Chris Redmond

Chris Redmond is a performance poet, musician and educator who weaves tall tales from a broad pallet of James Brown concerts, journey’s via cow trough portals to the centre of the Earth and sometimes about getting poo in his eye.

His work has been featured on BBC Radio 1, Radio 4’s Bespoken Word and Pick of The Week, XFM and SKY Arts.  Gigs range from pubs to festivals like Glastonbury, Big Chill and Latitude to London’s Southbank Centre and Shepherds Bush Empire.

Chris is the founder and host of Tongue Fu – a show in which the UK’s best performance poets flex their lyrical ninja skills to an improvised soundtrack from the Tongue Fu band. Chris has toured with The Spoken Word All-Stars – produced by Poet In The City and Apples and Snakes.

Shadow Artist: Graham Smith 

It was only when I read in the paper about a dead mountaineer’s favourite saying – ‘You can’t sneak up on your dreams’ – that I took the plunge and gave up my short-lived career in teaching with the aim of becoming a writer. This was all I had wanted to do since I was eighteen but I never felt I had permission to do it. I was waiting for someone to come and discover me in my own house, a rich benefactor who would put their arm round my shoulder and say, ‘Come on, genius, let’s take these words and share them with the good people of the world.’ Unfortunately, this person never showed up. So I put myself out there and began performing poems and writing the novel I had always promised myself I would complete. Fame and riches are still out of reach but I write because it’s my way of making sense of the world and I perform because applause has a funny habit of floating you through the rest of the week.


The Samuel Cody School is a school for secondary age pupils with learning difficulties. The school challenges individual pupils to achieve their highest potential in both academic and personal development.

Poet Coach: Michael Parker

Mike Parker is a poet, qualified teacher and workshop leader with a growing reputation. He is an adventure poet, blazing trails in words on a verbal expedition, who returns to the stage and page to share his discoveries. A Geographer, his teaching experience spans both secondary and primary sectors and includes Geography, Music, Outdoor Pursuits and English.

Shadow Artist & Digital Champion: Louise Halvardsson

Louise Halvardsson was born on a cold winters day in Nässjö, Sweden in 1982, but when she was old enough she escaped to Brighton where she learnt about love, life and literature.

Her first novel Punkindustriell Hårdrockare med Attityd (Punk Industrial Hard Rocker with Attitude) was published in Sweden by Författarhuset and won The Society of Author’s Award Slangbellan for Best Newcomer in Young Peoples’ Fiction.


Harrow Way Community School is a comprehensive school for Boys and Girls aged 11-16.

Poet Coach: Steve Larkin

Steve Larkin has had his poetry broadcast to over 12 million people through the BBC World Service, toured extensively in North America and Europe and is one of only a handful of UK poets to have won an international poetry slam title. He is a performance poet with over 15 years experience and the only university lecturer in Oxford dedicated to performance poetry, leading the Performance Poetry and Storytelling module as part of the Oxford Brookes University’s Performing Arts Course.

Steve has extensive experience of leading workshops in schools, colleges, universities and prisons. He was Poet-in-Residence at HMP Grendon Underwood and regularly leads teams of performance poets, enthusing young people in primary and secondary schools about poetry.

Shadow Artist: Matt West

Matthew West is a poet, writer, educator and facilitator based in Southampton.  Matt graduated from University of Southampton’s Creative Writing MA programme where he studied Modern Poetics and produced two poetry chapbooks, Button Holes and Object to This. He has performed regularly at The Art House’s Moving Voices, Apples and Snakes 451 and at The Poetry Cafe’s Poetry Unplugged night. Matt has featured at Southampton’s Ejector Seat festival, and, more recently, at the SMILE fringe festival and A-Z Musical Alphabet with Alphapoetica. Hosting regular poetry workshops aimed at creating new audiences and encouraging community participation in the blossoming poetry scene in Southampton, Matt is currently in the process of forming a new organisation, artfulScribe, to further these objectives.


Quilley is a specialist school that recognises that achieving academic excellence is very important and they are proud of their students’ excellent achievements.

Poet Coach: Rosy Carrick

Rosy Carrick was born in Lancashire in 1982. She has lived in Derbyshire, Cheshire, Lincolnshire, Bristol and Aberystwyth, and currently resides in glorious Brighton with her daughter Olive.

She has a BA in English and Writing from the University of Wales, Aberystwyth, and an MA in Critical Theory and Creative Writing from Sussex University. She is currently working towards a PhD in Critical Theory at Sussex University.

Rosy is the host of Brighton’s Hammer & Tongue, one of the UK’s largest spoken word and slam events. She also co-manages and comperes cult movie-themed club extravaganza Trailer Trash!, and performs her poetry at events and festivals around the country.

Shadow Artist: Tina Sederholm

Tina Sederholm has been writing and performing poetry for twelve years. She is a multiple slam winner, notably becoming the Oxford Hammer and Tongue Slam champion in 2010. She appears regularly at festivals, pubs, parties and poetry nights and is taking her first one-woman show to the Edinburgh Free Fringe in 2012. Now co-organiser and host of Hammer and Tongue Slams in Oxford, she has also published several books on training horses and writes for a national magazine.