Wordsmith is a community based organisation delivering performance poetry projects to school, youth providers and arts organisations.
Now in its fifth year, Wordsmith has established relationships with many aspiring Manchester secondary schools and academies and in the process inspired over 1500 students from year 7 to 11, helping young people to develop their passion for writing and performance and explore the possibility of the arts as a career with partner organisations such as Young Identity and Apples and Snakes.
Wordsmith believes that the arts can be creatively transformative, as well as educational and entertaining. Transformation, embedding self-confidence and encouraging self-expression through artistic endeavour and discipline are at the heart of a Wordsmith project.
What we offer
Wordsmith offers a range of innovative services:
Inter-school poetry projects: incorporating schools across Manchester, culminating with a multi-arts showcase, a profile on our site and publication in a downloadable ethology.
School poetry projects: based on the a showcase/slam model that engages and energizes the whole school.
Poets in residence: available to compose new works on a regular basis based on school life, assist classes and individual students poetry or literature based poetic subject matter.
Wordsmith Awards 2014
Wordsmith poetry showcase "The World At War". Whalley Range High 6th Form coached by Desiree Reynolds (check out more showcase video here)
Wordsmith showcase takes it inspiration from slam poetry.....we choose to adapt this format for schools in order to facilitate growth...empowerment...opportunity...freedom of self-expression....Thursday 3rd April at Stun studio space - Z Arts
Welcome to Wordsmith Awards 2013
This year’s project involved 8 schools engaging in writing and performance wordshops for 8 weeks, which resulted in a memorable showcase at Burnage Media Arts College in July 2013. Our special guests JP Cooper and Flex thrilled over 100 students and staff with musical sets that perfectly punctuated passionate poetry penned and performed by our teams. Loreto High were awarded Best Team and have already begun their year residency with masterclasses from Chicago’s first wave graduate Dominique Chesterland as well as a Q&A with Grammy nominated Def Jam poet Liza Garza before sharing the stage with her at an event at The Instituto Cervantes in central Manchester. Wordsmith poets in residence is a new feature we have added to our programs that allows us to develop young writers with mentoring and quality time with international and national professional poets.
What you say
It has really increased their confidence and team work skills. Students who would not put their hands up to answer a question in class were confident to perform at the Showcase by the end of the project there has been a noticable impact on the attainment of the students involved: three are now above their target grades since completing the project; two have completed a reading age test and this has gone up by two years since completing the project - their vocabulary has greatly improved I have learnt techniques to help students with writing that I will use with other classes We will definitely want to complete the project next year!
J Gledhill Whalley Range High Girls
A fantastic way to develop really important skills such as creativity, communication, resilience and self confidence. A great chance to work with a real poet.
Patsy Kane. Headteacher.
Yes. I definitely feel the Wordsmith Awards achieved these challenging aims. It was amazing to see my Year 9 students in a different light; their creativity astounded me as did their willingness to come out if their comfort zone and perform on stage. For some, it was a once in a lifetime opportunity and certainly helped raise aspirations.
Sharon Dempsey Head of English and Assistant Principal St Peter’s RC High School