Hope on a Postcard

Inspired by Dr Martin Luther King’s visit to Newcastle University in 1967 to accept an honorary doctorate, poets John Challis and Sinéad Morrissey were invited to run poetry workshops in a male maximum security prison. They explored, with a group of self-selecting inmates, the three themes of King’s acceptance speech: poverty, racism and war. Techniques explored include writing a Golden Shovel, a ghazal, and experimenting with enjambement. We invite you to try these exercises yourself or as part of a school or other poetry group. 


Read more about the prison workshops in Poetry News online.

What is a Golden Shovel? with Peter Kahn

Poet and educator Peter Kahn has been teaching his students to write Golden Shovels for years. This “21st century sonnet” was created by Terrance Hayes when he used each word in Gwendolyn Brooks’ iconic poem ‘We Real Cool’ as part of his own poem.

Peter guides you through this exciting new form and encourages your students to create poems inspired by Gwendolyn Brooks, other poets, songwriters, film-makers and more!

Download the resource and enter your students into the Young Poets Network challenge by 31 March 2019 to win poetry prizes.

Teaching the Reading of Poetry

Mandy Coe provides tips and ideas for how to enthuse your class about reading poetry.  At a glance: reading, writing, literacy, confidence, sound.


How to make a poem

Coral Rumble guides students step by step how to write a poem for more reluctant writers.  At a glance: confidence, playing with language, literacy, structure, reluctant writers.


Split definitions

Mahendra Solanki helps pupils look at familiar objects in a new way. At a glance: confidence, reluctant writers, using adjectives, group poems, playing with language.



Mario Petrucci encourages writers to edit and redraft their work. At a glance: short poems, redrafting, riddles, the senses, reluctant writers.