Stoke Damerel is a vibrant and forward thinking community of teachers and learners. We appreciate the individuality and unique strengths and talents of each student and encourage everyone to invest in their education. We take great pride in the fact that more and more of our students enjoy success in every possible way and at every level. We seek to provide the very best educational experience so that all our students can reach their full potential as they become responsible and proactive members of our community.

Poet Coach: Sara Jane Arbury

Sara-Jane Arbury lives in Bristol. She has been involved in performance poetry and the promotion of live literature for many years, collaborating with organizations including the Arts Council, BBC, Oxford University Press and Bloodaxe Books. She has undertaken writing commissions and residencies and worked as the Voices Off Director at Cheltenham Literature Festival. Sara-Jane is the co-founder of Spiel Unlimited, a partnership with writer and raconteur Marcus Moore that aims to take the ‘spoken word, written word, anywhere, everywhere’. Spiel host a comprehensive annual programme of nationwide adult and youth poetry slams in schools, prisons, libraries and festivals. Sara-Jane has also toured in various spoken word shows including The Truth Is OptionalStaying Alive (Bloodaxe Books) with Pauline Black and Matthew Sharp and most recently, a multi-media performance poetry and prose production, FLASH.

Shadow Artist: Jack Whitfield

As a Poet Shadow for Shake the Dust, you will most likely see me as a first year Creative Writing student at UCP Marjon with an undying commitment to serving the community; although I prefer to introduce myself as a 5’ 11” eight-year-old.

Combining creative work and supporting those in the community, as this initiative does, is what I love doing most. Particular highlights for me in the past were watching young talent emerge through helping out in the Wootton Bassett Arts Festival, and school-related projects in the town’s Young Chamber of Commerce. Both of these encouraged young people to explore music in the various forms available to them. Having said that, what excites me about Shake the Dust is that the power of performance poetry is not limited by instruments or band members: it has unlimited usage and the potential scope to appeal to any audience, giving those involved a true sense of voice in society.


Tor Bridge High hopes to capture both the imagination and interest of our students giving everyone the chance to pursue their passion and fulfil their dreams. What matters most at Tor Bridge High is that our children and young people achieve the qualifications and skills needed to realise their ambitions in the future.

Poet Coach: Glenn Carmichael

Glenn Carmichael began performing as half of a spoken word duo The Big City Beats back in 1988. The Beats founded London’s Hard Edge Club in 1989, a weekly performance poetry club that lasted 5 years. In 1993 he moved to Bristol and established The Bristol Poetry Slam.

He has had two poetry collections published, How Low Can You Go and The Truth is Optional and co-edited The Bristol Slam Poetry Anthology. As well as continuing to perform, Glenn now hosts slams and takes slam poetry into schools. In 2002 he headlined the performance poetry tour The Truth is Optional. In 2008 he produced the performance video A Brief History of Poetry and has recently completed a UK tour Flash, a spoken word show featuring micro fiction and poetry.

Shadow Artist: Jo Tatam

Jo works at various festivals as a compere and as a freelance performer. She is also an improvisation and acting teacher and currently studying an MA in Dramatherapy.


Brook Green aims to provide a stimulating and appropriate learning experience which prepares students for life and provides an understanding of their community and the wider world to enable them to contribute to them; to provide a safe, caring, friendly and purposeful environment in which students are happy, confident and feel valued; to ensure each student achieves their full potential; to ensure each student understands and recognises how to lead healthy lifestyles; to ensure every student is aware of the importance of sustaining the planet for future generations; and for students to promote a sense of respect for themselves and those around them.

Poet Coach: Jonny Fluffypunk

A seasoned performer at gigs, festivals, schools, DSS offices and, on one occasion, in the bowels of a decommissioned Navy minesweeper, Jonny is equally at home on cabaret, poetry and alternative comedy stages. Performing regularly throughout the UK, Jonny has won multiple poetry slams whilst remaining, of course, fully opposed to competition both in the Arts and life in general.

Jonny has also co-written and co-starred in a number of acclaimed and shortlisted spoken word shows in the Brighton Festival Fringe, has had his naïve, outsider art-style paintings exhibited several times, is experimenting with shadow-puppet theatre and super-8 cinema and frequently entertains himself by clowning in city centres without asking for money, which upsets people.

Shadow Artist: Hay Brunsdon

Hay Brunsdon is an English and Drama graduate from Stroud. She takes delight in building nests out of hay bales and collecting old-fashioned crockery, much like an Edwardian magpie. She also pens travel articles, which generally take the form of complaint letters, but also tries to commit a rhyme every now and again.

Hay recently set up a storytelling and haberdashery circle called A Good Old Yarn. Several of her poems have been published in literary magazines and she freelances as a writer across the Arts and Heritage industries. Apart from putting pen to paper, Hay loves making whimsical bedroom furnishings and moseying round inevitably disappointing village fêtes. She is loudly anxious (as opposed to quietly confident) and enjoys worriedly watching repeats of The Crystal Maze.


At Sir John Hunt each child is valued and nurtured. We know all of our students as individuals ensuring they are happy at school, feel safe, enjoy learning, are challenged and make the best of their talents. Our commitment to success is supported by a team of hard working staff and a supportive governing body.

Poet Coach: Lucy Lepchani

Devon poet Lucy Lepchani writes poems for page and stage, and has performed at festivals and venues around the UK & in Ireland. She also works as a Writer in Education, in schools and with community groups, and is also a Creative Writing and Poetry tutor with the Workers Educational Association.

Shadow Artist: Rebecca Tantony

Rebecca Tantony seems to appear in the most unusual of places, yet is mostly found living in vibrant cities throughout England. She feeds on a diet entirely consisting of words, and can be seen foraging for them in and amongst the golden and darkest parts of her imagination, swirling them around her mouth and finally pulling them from pallet to page. She’s inspired by the sounds of gravely rappers who aren’t afraid of speaking truths, to the charm and romanticism of traditional poetry; Rebecca uses words which are lyrical. Musical. Fanatical.

As well as a publishing and performing poetry, she works at freelance journalism and short stories, which span from exploring the flair of flamenco dance to the intricacies of human nature. Poetry wise, she organises events, shows, and performs throughout the country at various festivals and venues.


Voices for Change is the Barbican Theatre Plymouth’s theatre group for young people aged 12 to 16, who use theatre as a means to create positive change in their worlds by developing their skills in theatre including, improvisation, devising and writing.

Poet Coach: Sally Jenkinson

Sally Jenkinson is originally from Doncaster in South Yorkshire, where they say poem like this ‘poym’, She is now a poet who lives in Bristol.

Her inspirations include earwigging on barstools and eavesdropping at bus stops. She likes to write poems about the secret and undiscovered bits. She is the Bristol co-ordinator of national spoken word organisation Hammer & Tongue, and co-organises a monthly open mic night in Bristol called Poetry Pulpit, and very lovely it is too.

She is currently working on a series of poems called Folly based on her experience of dragging a broken heart around the Mekong region of South-East Asia, looking at peculiar things.

Shadow Artist & Digital Champion: Katy Else

Katy Else graduated in 2011 with an English and Creative Writing Degree and recently completed 2 months of teaching in Thailand. She is now back in Plymouth spending her time trying to start a career!

She is currently volunteering in Youth Support services and in a local Refugee centre. She writes a lot of poetry in her spare time and is the proud South West regional Shake The Dust Digital Champion, keeping our blog up to date!

Katy loves penguins, people and poetry, and have stoked a tiger and ridden an elephant as well as being woken up with a cockroach on my face. Her life long dream is to cuddle an Orang-outang! My moto in life is to “live the life you imagined” – well, to try to anyway!