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Valerie Bloom MBE, novelist and poet spent the day, 3rd October, at Irchester Community Primary School.

 Valerie hosted a whole school assembly where she invited the children to join in with some of her poems. She held two workshops, one for each of the Year 6 classes. Valerie, along with our competition winners opened the new Story Cottage (an area where children can go to listen to stories, or quietly read). Pictures attached.

Valerie was interviewed by our Reading Ambassadors. Q & A below:

  1. How do you know a poem is finished?  When it feels like it is finished with nothing more to add.  Some are never finished, but evolve when I hear myself performing them. Some, like Sandwich, can take up to 4 years to compete.
  2. What is your favourite novel that you have written? The Tribe . It is about Maruka who is different to the other girls; she likes to hunt and fish deep in the forest, even though it's dangerous.
  3. Have you always wanted to be a poet? I used to be a teacher, but I always wanted to be a writer, not necessarily a poet. I was inspired to write by reading the work of Louise Bennett. I love my job.
  4. What do you like to do in your spare time? I enjoy vegan cooking, especially making ice-cream, ribs and drumsticks. I enjoy gardening. I have a big garden and have two allotments. I love reading.
  5. What made you want to be a poet? The poet, Claude Mackay, based in America, wrote about the Jamaica that he remembered. I used to perform some of his poems, which inspired me.

It was a fantastic day, bringing poetry alive (on National Poetry Day).The children thoroughly enjoyed the visit; one pupil even said, “It was the best day of (my) life.”


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