Thank God it's Friday

13th April 2001 at 01:00
FRIDAY Five poets, one sexy bus, no map. Friendly policeman directs us to Dixons CTC, Bradford, for poetry workshops. Poets surprised by quality of children's work (Year 11s), setting the tone for the schools on the tour. Evening reading, Borders cafe, Leeds. Audience: 45.

Saturday Evening reading, Sheffield. Poets overwhelmed by responsive audience (58), and free bar.

Tuesday We're at Hounsdown and Regents Park schools, Southampton. Five workshops (Year 11s). Evening reading, Waterstones. Audience: 50. Go dancing.

Wednesday School assembly readings. Two-thirds of group interested - lads giggle until one poet "dedicates" a poem to them. Attention is lost when a mobile phone rings. Evening reading, Waterstones, Piccadilly, London. Audience: 150. Poets delighted.

Thursday Early start at Acland Burghley school, north London, with two two-hour workshops to key stage 5 and Yea 10s. Outstanding. Poets bowled over by aptitude and enthusiasm of students.

Friday Morning workshops at Earlham school, Norwich, where snowfall depletes numbers. Evening reading, University of East Anglia. Audience:40. Blame weather.

Saturday Evening reading at Cambridge University creative writing society.Audience: 50. Pleased so many students choose to listen to poetry on a Saturday night. Venue suddenly metamorphoses into drum 'n' bass "bop". Poets scared and run away.

Sunday Last day. Afternoon reading, Borders, Oxford. Audience: 64. Poets agree that students across the country have been tour highlight: brave, startling, energetic. We're deeply impressed.

Antony Dunn was one of five young poets on the First Lines poetry tour which toured England in late February and early March. First Lines will be appearing at the Hay-on-Wye Literature Festival next month


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