How to host a poet visit
There’s no experience like meeting a poet and hearing them read and share their work. It can trigger a fresh enthusiasm for poetry and encourage pupils to keep reading and writing for pleasure. If you can’t arrange a real-life visit, many authors are now offering virtual visits.
Some tips for arranging a visit:
• If funding is tight, join up with other schools. Your poet could visit two schools in the same day – or schools could come together.
• Book your poet well in advance! Poets’ diaries get booked up, especially on National Poetry Day and World Book Day.
• Ensure your class explores their poetry ahead of the day.
• Make sure to address practical concerns first (fee, invoicing, numberor students, ages, format).
Look after your poet:
• Plan the day together. Discuss any equipment needed and let them know how you will document the visit. Make them welcome, have someone to take them round, and offer tea/coffee/lunch.
• Be clear with them about your goals for the visit, such as:
- Children’s increased enthusiasm for poetry
- Children more confident about reciting poetry
- Children more confident about writing poetry
- A really enjoyable day – with pictures and maybe a film of the day!
- You can arrange book sales via your poet or their publisher, or with your local bookshop.
• Partner with your local library. They can suggest poets you might like to invite or lend copies of the poet’s books, and, if needed, a venue for sessions.