Award winning poet meets 200 Derry pupils

Author and performance poet Joe Coelho visits St Joseph's Boy's School  (L-R Liz Canning (BookTrust NI), Mrs McLaughlin (Librarian),Year 7&8 Pupils from St Joseph's, Joseph Coelho, Mrs Brady, and Josie Cusack, Education Library Service Manager)
Author and performance poet Joe Coelho visits St Joseph's Boy's School (L-R Liz Canning (BookTrust NI), Mrs McLaughlin (Librarian),Year 7&8 Pupils from St Joseph's, Joseph Coelho, Mrs Brady, and Josie Cusack, Education Library Service Manager)

An award winning poet spent time with 200 pupils from the North West during a visit to Derry last week.

Joseph Coelho spent time teaching the pupils about poetry and the importance of giving and sharing.

The visit was organised by BookTrust NI and involved 200 pupils from St. Joseph’s Boys’ School, Ebrington Primary School, Broadbridge Primary School and Limavady Grammar.

Each pupil got their very own personally signed copy of Joe’s book, ‘Overheard in a Tower Block,’ to take home and share with their families.

The students are also taking part in a poetry writing competition around sharing and giving, via secure online platform. This allows them to talk to Joe after the visit, find out more about his work and submit some of their own reviews.

Discussing his visit to Derry, Joe said: “This is my first trip to Northern Ireland and it’s been such a delight. I’ve had so much joy meeting students and teachers from primary schools and secondary schools across the Derry area. What I’ve found in 16 years of working in schools is that students are hungry to not only read poems, but also to have the opportunity to write poetry, to express their feelings and emotions.”

Liz Canning, Head of BookTrust NI, said: “Author visits like Joe’s are a fantastic experience for the students, they always come away with such enthusiasm and excitement for books and reading. During the 2018/19 tour we aim to bring books and a love of reading to over 1,000 children across Northern Ireland.”

Joe’s visit was made possible thanks to funding from Arts Council Northern Ireland.