‘Keeping It Wild’ youth group have been working with poet Aly Stoneman on their creative campaign and ‘Nottingham for Nature’ Manifesto since November, with their Wordmash definitions and short poems on display on posters and billboards across the city from 16th January for two weeks. During January, the group also worked with Nottingham’s young poet laureate Georgina Wilding on their poetry performance skills, which included creating a series of short films to present alongside the wildlife manifesto and live performances of their poems at the ‘Nottingham For Nature’ youth question time event on Wednesday 25th January.
Georgina said: ‘What an incredible group of young people, matched with an incredibly important cause, too. Working with Creating a Buzz/Wildlife in the City introduced me to the world of urban conservation, how we can all play a part in keeping nature thriving, and why that’s exactly what we should be doing. If you don’t know much about this, then check these guys out – I’m pretty sure you’ll be left inspired.
I first came in to give an introductory session on performance poetry for the group, as they had written their own Haiku-like poems to spread their message via video and the stage. We looked at 10 different clips of performance poets and analysed their stage presence via firm debating (turns out American slam poetry was not a winner with this lot!).Â The next session with the group involved coaching them individually with their pieces for film, standing by (or in some cases, kneeling in the mud!)Â as they made their debut for Will, our lovely film guy. I was so impressed with how flexible and committed the group were to honing their reading, even the most shy of members came on leaps and bounds within about 5 minutes of rework – they didn’t need me at all!
The sessions culminated in a final visit to the Old Ragged School, working with a brave three, Finn, Tom, and Ellie. They were preparing to read their work on stage at the Creating a Buzz showcase the following week. We experimented with pace by reading poems in both fast and slow motion, high and low pitch, did a multitude of run throughs giving feedback, and wrapped up with the whole group participating in a soundscape! (For those who aren’t sure what a soundscape is, imagine a group of witches and wizards summoning a magical being – lots of shouting and energy, which everyone committed to!)
I had an absolute blast with the group, and wish them all the luck in the world for their future endeavours. I encourage everyone to support them in whatever way you can – I know I’ll be looking at our cityscape through very different eyes thanks to them.’
Notts poet Aly Stoneman met with six members of the Nottingham Hindu Youth Group ‘Hindu Swayamsevak Sangh’ at The Nottingham Emmanuel School in West Bridgford on Friday 12th January. Aly has been working with the Keeping It Wild team to help develop their #nottinghamfornature creative campaign, and the group discussed the project and related activities.
Respect for nature is important in Hinduism; the group felt that protecting the environment and taking action, such as planting new trees, can be seen as part of SEWA – selfless service to the community. They believe that access to nature is important for health and well-being and were concerned that modern housing and office developments are generally unsympathetic to nature and wildlife.
The group moved on to discuss and contribute ideas for the Nottingham For Nature Manifesto. Suggestions included making Market Square and other City Centre spaces greener and more wildlife friendly (including green walls), commissioning permanent and temporary artworks and information displays celebrating wildlife in the city, creating better spaces for aquatic wildlife, and embedding local wildlife studies in the school curriculum. The Manifesto will launch at the Nottingham For Nature youth event taking place at the Council House on 25th January.
Keeping it wild team gained an inspiring insight into the world of poetry performance, thanks to Nottingham’s first Young Laureate Georgina Wildling…..
12 young people were wowed by the different types of poetry styles and how you can perform these to really inspire people with your cause.
The group picked up hints and tips from George about how to speak and perform the statements and poems they have been coming up with for the #nottinghamfornature campaign. Keeping it WILD presents…. The Keeping it Wild team are excited for the up coming event and some are even going to brave doing something live on stage. Watch this space !!!!
Want to know more about Georgina or the amazing work she does check out mud press a fantastic online poetry publisher to which she founded.