Tuesday, 16 October 2012


An Anthology by the First Story Group at Oxford Spires Academy
ed. Kate Clanchy
London, First Story, 2012, p64

In getting to know the students at my school, I found this little anthology invaluable. Sometimes it is really challenging to understand what goes on inside the mind of a teenage girl or boy, but reading their words opens up their world like you couldn't imagine.

These poems focus more around loss. The school population suffered from some terrible losses during the last academic year, and writing was a medicine that appears to have helped this small group. This anthology is much darker than Differentiation, as more tragic themes dominate; but the words are just as beautiful and incredibly meaningful.

Again, congratulations to Kate Clanchy for wonderful editorial work. She makes the anthology flow perfectly, so that the collection ends with a hint of hope in this world of melancholy. 

But the most delightful thing is the talent of these young people. There is so much feeling and emotion in such a short collection. Their experiences are unimaginable for a group so young, but they are so strong and brave. They are completely inspiring.  

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