Reading For Care Leavers at Arvon

I’m at Arvon in the wilds of  Devon deep in the South West of England.  It’s still dark but a slight  blue is seeping through.  I can hear a rasping partridge outside and a clutter of wings . The sparrows are waking. Morning is breaking.  Last night I read poetry in the barn for Care Leavers aged from 16 to 23. They are here on a creative writing course and I am the mid week visiting poet – their evening entertainment.  To hear them laugh was bliss. Some readings are pure fun.   And these  young people deserve to laugh.

One of the tutors said   “I haven’t heard them laugh like that all week”. I read funny poems and poems about the care system. Serious too.  “What’s different about what you” said one girl at breakfast this morning “is that you know what we’ve been through”. It was about empathy.   So I leave  knowing  I was in the right place  saying the right words for the right reasons  at the right time with the right people and I can’t ask more than that.


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