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Wednesday, 20 April 2016
Mike Garry, who has been lauded as “the best street poet ever” and “the hardest angel in poetry heaven”, returned to Bolton School Girls’ Division for the third time to host an Open Mic evening. The performance poet, who works with over 10,000 young people each year in settings such as schools and youth clubs, was on hand to introduce a selection of girls from Years 7-13 to recite their work in front of an appreciative audience in the school’s drama studio. The evening was a celebration of creativity, Mike personally selecting the girls to perform on the night, having read through dozens of entries earlier in the year, something which he said is always a true delight. He congratulated the School on having wonderful English and Art departments and on its creative arts work, which is always imaginatively displayed on the corridors.
Mike commented on how impressed he was with the standard of creative writing, saying it seems to get better year after year, as he introduced the 24 girls who performed on the night, reciting their poems confidently and with expression. The girls used a variety of poetic devices and styles to deliver their messages. There were laments to lost relatives, heart-felt tributes to towns, bus journeys and locales, and homages to mobile, phones, pens and teachers as well as thoughtful reflections on refugees, grief, fear, love and death. The overall winner on the night was Year 13 student Natalie Henderson for her work entitled “You bought me the Amazon”.
During the second half of the performance, Mike Garry treat the audience to some of his own highly acclaimed work from the recently penned pieces for Match of the Day and to his son to older offerings such as Pay As You Go, Northern, What My Ma Taught Me and God is a Manc. Closing the evening, Mike said: “Reading is our escape. It has been a wonderful evening and it has been a massive honour to be here.” Mrs Kingsford, who organised the event, thanked Mike for being a wonderful inspiration for the girls and told them to keep expressing themselves through writing, drawing and singing.
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