I was recently sent a link to a gorgeous article in The Guardian written by Kate Clanchy: the story of The Very Quiet Foreign Girls poetry group. Having spent the weekend revisiting the deep pleasure of being a student (despite nearly dislocating myself trying not to butt in and teach over the top of poor Jo), it just felt like the perfect article to sum up What Is Very Right about the whole thing of teaching poetry, and why, despite it also being quite exhausting, it is incredibly satisfying. Even if I haven’t (yet) managed to shape someone to win awards and glory. (Surely it can only be a matter of time?!)
It also tapped into the same place as a lot of our pleasure in putting Leaving the Red Zone together – being able to help people voice things that otherwise stay locked up. (And we got a very nice review to that effect on the NZ Booksellers blog too.)
Things like this give me moments of hope for the human race. (Which will almost certainly curdle as soon as the next round of funding applications has to go in, but there you go.)
Hurray for good people, good teachers, and poetry!