We hope your summer is and has been a good one so far, in spite of our unpredicable climate. It’s been busy here with a bit of a break, before it all gets going again. Time to re-charge, take stock and look ahead and back. Over the last few months I’ve enjoyed working with 600 Gloucestershire Primary School children and Dreadlockalien, a much loved. Glastonbury was wonderful, then up to Wilmslow for the two hottest days of the year to work with Yr 9 students in the High School, exploring Identity through Sport and to judge the Public Speaking Skills contest! Workshops are now broadened out to cover all sports to be more inclusive for all. Writing on everything from swimming and dancing to netball, skateboarding and hockey often with students who loathe football! I’m also busy working on my next book right now, which (excuse the pun) is another story.
We still have Workshop sessions available for schools and communities, football clubs, libraries, venues, festivals, events, prisons ( and plinths!) from October onwards through 2009 all over the UK and for those interested during Book Week do get in touch early. . Contact Crispin Thomas: firstname.lastname@example.org or phone 01453 757376 & 07837 798463
WORKSHOPS & GIGS DATES 09
9 PLYMOUTH Central Library .National Poetry Day (Wy)
SOME WORKSHOP LINKS
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EVERTON FC ‘ Making A Difference’ Workshop Review Crispin ThomasSession at Everton FC Extra Time Study Support Centre
FOOTBALL STUFF Crispin Thomas BBC Video Nation (Real Player) Crispin at Forest Green Rovers with Casio and a ball.!
3 INNER GOAL GOAL the poetry of football..a journey in rhyme
by Crispin Thomas
(Illustrated/Paperback) Published by Football Poets Books
ISBN 9780955 737602 £8.99
click here INNER GOAL on Amazon
“Poems in the street, the ground and the heart, poetry with balls!”
“One of the pioneers of football poetry.Who ate all the pioneers”?”
Attila The Stockbroker
“A rhythmic feast for football lovers everywhere both young and old. From rattles and rosettes to women’s football and the trenches, fantasy salaries and racism to mobile phones for goalposts. Spanning fifty years of watching and ten years of writing , Inner Goal is an affectionate and perceptive nod to the People’s Game in verse. A long-overdue and illustrated hard-copy paperback debut from football’s maverick performance poet featuring 75 poems, 65 haikus and hand-drawn illustrations from the author.
National Football Musuem , Preston Tel 01772 908442
Stroud Bookshop , 23 High Street ,Stroud 01453 756646
Made In Stroud, 16 Kendrick Street Stroud 01453 840265
SPRING 2009 WORKSHOP BLOG
Hi again – April and May have brought some great weather and in spite of the threat of Swine Flu it’s great to be out on the road again.
i I find if you sneeze you get the carriage to yourself. (Only joking)
I’ll let you know how Yorkshire goes. ‘[Remembering Rodborough’ took place on a hot Sunday afternoon with Stu and I both doing poems .Thanks to Lottie et al for having this event , and to Stuart for orgqanising it. Rodborough is a beautiful small Cotswold
village just outside of Stroud and an area Stu and I both happen to live in.The Albert hosts great live gigs, comedy and poetry.
Book Week and March kicked off with a return visit to Forest Green Rovers PFS Centre to work on converting the students poems into a ‘wow-factor’ display montage. That night I also drove in torrential rain , to compere and perform at a charity words fund-raiser gig in Bath in the Cavern-like ‘Porter’ venue.
The next day it was a 4.30am rise for a high energy and fun World Book Day in Stockport. (Hello Years 4, 5 & 6 Cale Green Primary!) Another hectic month took me on early train jounneys
to Wales again as part of ‘Read A Million Words’ in Chepstow ,Caldicott and Abergavenny and a few days later it was off to a great school in Bridgwater .Some great lively sessions followed at Reading FC where Study Centre leader Jenny has lined up 150 kids thoughout the day and evening!
Team captain James Harper dropped by to listen and comment on the students poems and took on a hilarious Q & A .
Two days later at Lincoln City FC we were joined by ITV Yorkshire and some really inspiring Yr 5 & 6 kids.We sat in the stands chanting and the kids produced some great work. West Bromwich Libraries (Hamstead Tipton & Central ) coming up,
See you somewhere soon .Keep on writing. Crispin
To find out about KICK IT OUT click here
Kick It Out
4 . BLOG – A DAY IN THE LIFE OF A FOOTBALL POET
from Stroud to Morpeth and Plymouth..and from Sutton Coldfied to Mansfield , Long Eaton and Stratford On Avon !
Hi again .Time to subject you to a Workshop day (well 10 days actually!) in the life of a football poet….on the road and on the rails !
SO WHAT’S A DAY REALLY LIKE?
I felt it necessary to dispel the legendary Take That / Frank Lampard / Ronaldo / Wannabe Football Poet Laureate celebrity image and myth of limos, riders and executive treatment that it doesn’t entail .
A HAPPY WORLD BOOK DAY IN MANSFIELD & LONG EATON!
I’m just back from a great school in Sutton Coldfield where I ended up performing with 15 children reading their rhymes and raps for the first time in front of 400 in the main hall . Next stop was an invitation from Mansfield Town FC’s Stags Study Support Centre to work in a local Primary school for World Book Day . We made tiny books and wrote football poems and thoughts for aliens, and for anyone who would listen. In the evening it was a mad dash to Long Eaton where I worked with Jim Sells of The National Literacy Trust and a local puppeteer/story teller for Blokes On Board , complete with a PC and library-equipped bus!” This is an on-going Reading Champions project to inspire “blokes” to go into schools to encourage boys to read .
WORKING WITH HEROES & VILLAINS IN MORPETH
For two days I was back in Morpeth, Northumberland at King Edward V1 , a thriving and high achieving grammar school where I work with 160 Year 9 pupils. The theme of the two days is ‘Heroes and Villains’, with a strong focus on Martin Luther King . Each student brings in a picture of a hero and villain. Mine were : Roy of The Rovers and Darth Vader. Two groups writing poems on chosen heroes like Alan Shearer, Slash from Guns n’Roses and Martin Luther King to notorious villains who included (bizarrely) Sponge Bob Square Pants, Osama Bin Laden and Hitler. We also created a 15 minute play which we performed in front of 160 pupils about the life of Arthur Wharton ,the first ever black professional footballer in the late 1800’s. Finishing at 3.20pm it was a sleepy two hour wait for my 5.30pm train home to my cottage Then a 4 and
a half hour train journey back to Cheltenham. On finally arriving it’s a
dark and windy 45 minute drive to Stroud listening to Bolton vs. Arsenal in extra time. Rock ‘n Roll!”
KICKING INTO READING IN PLYMOUTH
The following week found me in Plymouth where I spent 5 days. I worked for Kick Into Reading with around 700 children alongside some great Plymouth Argyle trainers and coaches (Mark and Debbie) and one director (David) Football poems , riddles, games and stories all week-long in Plymouth libraries.
When you start to link in as a one-off visitor with the intricate daily workings of modern schools, prisons, libraries, football grounds and study support centres the timetables, paperwork and lesson plans never fail to surprise . As a result I now involve no paperwork in the setting up of my workshops , in the effort to leave as small a football poetry footprint as possible and to stay as carbon free as possible. To this end, I go everywhere by train which is often veryearly and incredibly stressy , but far more relaxing than dnving .`The workshops are run on fun lines. All I want to do is inspire, from getting students thinking , writing and reading to getting up and performing work with gusto in front of their giggling mates and just having fun with words. I like sending myself up, and love making the kids laugh (at me), my silly poems, and to make them think a little deeper and laterally maybe. I want them to take the time to compose stuff on their own and then wax lyrical. To think and feel in the words of Catherine Tate..”I can do that ”
For the younger ones, we usually kick off with an action football poem or song that everyone can join in on, and I’ll do some stuff of my own . We use PowerPoint images to highlight any and everything to do with football. We are there to explore football , to write poems as a group and individually. One hour school based lessons are a mad rush, and I prefer longer with each class for quality, but however long , we always somehow get there. We always include a spontaneous group poem on the flip chart or white board (or blackboards in Porto) and usually leave about 15 minutes to perform them all. Here’s a poem I wrote on the way home from Morpeth opposite some bloke who got on at Leeds and kept snoring. It’s about my first ever Cup visit to Middlesboro FC. Allegedly! Go well! Crispin
15 Feb Down By The Riverside Crispin Thomas