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Hackney New School

Hackney New School had a visit from Adisa, a performance Poet on a mission to highlight the power of poetry off the page and on the page.

Adisa specialises in delivering presentations and workshops that touch on issues like identity, self-confidence, bullying, and peer pressure blues. His work is firmly rooted in African Caribbean history and folklore tradition and he draws heavily on comedy to carry his observations and insights to the audience. Adisa delivered 3 workshops to a targeted group of Year 8,9 and 10 boys, a mixed gender, mixed ability group of Year 11 and a mixed ability group of year 8. At lunchtime he held an open mic poetry slam for anyone who wanted to come and join in and ended the day with a whole Year 9 assembly. During lunch break, he did an off-the-cuff poetry slam in the library for anyone who wanted to come, and this was well attended. Over the course of the day Adisa worked with 400 young people. As a follow up to the visit, the English department who were studying poetry at the time, took his ideas and wove them into the study of poetry on the curriculum and used some of his expressions for textual study of the classic poetry being looked at. The Library is also running a poetry completion this term.

Feedback from the school:

"The author event was wholly positive. The kids he saw were completely engaged in his performance and in the activities, he created for them. He was also receptive to those kids wanting to work and write poetry, so the entire spectrum of pupils benefitted from his visit."

"For me as a librarian, the most rewarding element of the day was watching a student who was not initially part of the workshop, but who had been sitting in the corner of the library having some downtime after getting upset in his own lesson, draw closer and closer to Adisa and finally take up pen and paper and spontaneously join in with the activity he was delivering to the other students. Adisa was able to reach out effortlessly to an unengaged student and inspire him completely. I cannot think of a better testimony to his utter success as both a poet and an educator."

"Several students including one SEN student regularly comes into the library to discuss the visit, to read poetry books and to ask when he will be visiting again!"