Since English was invented as an academic subject, its practitioners have doubted its seriousness and its difficulty. As Creative Writing becomes established in the academy, many of those worries are transferring to its assessment and practice. In the school classroom, where teachers have even more difficulty being taken seriously and where successive governments have made a football of the curriculum, anxiety over the place and assessment of Creative Writing, especially poetry,has become acute. One of the UKs foremost practitioners demonstrates how the teaching of writing can indeed be alarmingly simple – yet extremely complex.

Kate Clanchy’s most recent books are the much acclaimed Some Kids I Taught and What They Taught Me, a memoir of 30 years of teaching in state schools, and England: Poems from a School, an anthology of her migrant students’ poems. Grow Your Own Poem: A How to Book will be published in September. She also runs the popular twitter account @KateClanchy1. Kate teaches at Reading University and EMBS College, an alternative provision sixth form unit. She was made MBE for Services to Poetry in 2018.


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This session will be chaired by the National Association of Writers in Education