Jan Dean has published two collections of poetry (Macmillan and & Blackie) and has had poems published in over a hundred anthologies. Her latest collection is The Penguin in Lost Property -written with Roger Stevens.
Useful information for teachers –
A Day with Jan Dean
I like to kick-start the day with a performance. It’s a great way of introducing myself to classes and of getting everyone in a poetry state of mind.
After assembly I run class workshops for the rest of the day. (50-60 min slots.)
First we write a group poem: I become the ‘word processor’ for the class. Their ideas and my know-how shape the poem.
Along the way we discover ‘hot tips’ for writing – all kinds, not just poetry.
Starting points for group poems can be rooted in ‘How To’s’ -e.g How to create character/ mood/ sense of place, or they can arise from themes/topics the class are covering. The group poem models the process of writing.
Finally the class write their own pieces, individually or in pairs – that’s the teacher’s choice.
Sometimes I work with a group for more than one session – then there’s time to look at individual writing , work out its strengths and develop them.
By the end of the day the school will be bursting at the seams with poems.