OBE winner, industry renowned poet and well-respected author Professor Michael Schmidt further enhanced the learning of Bury College Access students when he delivered an engaging workshop session.

Access to Higher Education students undertaking the “Education and Humanities” pathway were delighted to further explore poetry with poet and editor Michael Schmidt OBE FRSL when they welcomed him as a guest speaker for the morning. Learners enjoyed a 30-minute ‘Poetic Memories’ lecture which discussed how poets use different conventions to create their work.

This was followed by a hands-on poetry workshop where two Access students read poems that they had written and gave a brief description of why they had written the poem the way they had. Michael then offered his constructive feedback on the learners’ works. This was an exceptional opportunity for students to further develop their creative writing skills with feedback from one of the UK’s leading poets.

The morning session ended with a full-class debate on ‘popular best-selling poetry’. The group examined the work of poets Rebecca Watts and Holly McNish and their difference in opinions about what makes great poetry. The learners and Michael discussed and/ responded to questions such as ‘what is poetry?’ and ‘what is/should be deemed ‘literary’? Students also extended the discussion to the effects of social media on poets and their poetry. 

Student Karen Glazebrook, who was one of the students to read her poetry to Michael said of the workshop, “It was good to get a professional opinion from someone so well known within the industry. Having industry speakers visit us is fantastic and really interesting. It was good to talk about creative writing, and being able to ask questions about the publishing industry helps us in our further studies and career progression.”

The Bury College Access to HE department was delighted to welcome Michael back for the third time and to provide learners the opportunity to meet and learn from such an influential poetry editor and publisher. As the founder and editorial and managing director of Carcanet Press Limited and the general editor of PN Review, Michael proves to remain an industry pioneer.

Michael commented, “I think Bury College is a wonderful place and I always love coming back here. It has been good to listen to the different poems the students wrote, discuss them and interact with the students.”

It’s never too late to achieve your career ambition. Discover how an Access course can help you, call 0161 280 8280 or click here to visit our website. 

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