The Superhero Project launched by Michael Rosen this summer is not a sentimental notion. Of the ten attendants to The Superhero Workshops two have been shortlisted in national writing competitions: The Foyles Young Poets Prize and The Wicked Young Writers Award. One of them, Robert Marston, won the former and the other will be announced by judge Michael Morpurgo later this year at The Appollo theatre in London.
The Superhero Project is a series of poetry workshops and art activity for look after young people in care in Ealing. The work has been led by Caroline Bird and myself the artistic director. The average attendance figure was ten.
I know of guitarists from famous bands, famous actors and TV presenters, top lawyers, brilliant poets, television executives, magazine editors, national journalists, famous singers, millionaires, star novelists and Olympic medalists who were all looked after children. And then there’s the fictional ones, Harry Potter, Superman, Spiderman, Lyra Belaqua, Cinderella , The X men, Oliver Twist , Matilda, James Bond, Lemony Snicket, Celie from The Colour Purple, Moses…..the list is endless. They too were fostered, adopted or parentless. There needs to be a radical rethink on what young looked after people are.
Young looked after people employ extraordinary skills to deal with extraordinary situations. As we see it the sky is the limit. The idea to send the poems from The Superhero Project workshops to competitions was originated and pursued by my peerless colleague Caroline Bird. A book, The Superhero Project, published by First Story will be launched on November 24th at Horizons in Ealing.