ANTHOLOGY INTRODUCTION: OUR HIDDEN UNIVERSE

REBECCA TANTONY

WRITER-IN-RESIDENCE

It’s been a real privilege to work at Hans Price for a second year. I really value the students in this school – they seem to have a depth of compassion that always moves me. What started as a silent classroom soon became a place in which voices were loud and fearless. Creative writing is a fantastic avenue for healing, for transformation and self-awareness. At the heart of this residency, I feel the work produced here really reflects that – the inner workings of a young person’s heart and mind, the hidden universe within. We explored so many creative writing techniques and approaches during the sessions, and each week, I saw the students step forward, more open and more confident in their individual offerings. From zombies to love affairs between forks and television sets, musings on home and identity, poems for mothers, for voicelessness and self-empowerment, philosophical questions, the understanding of time and space, and chips on the seafront. The sessions were moving, fun and deeply explorative. Rachel is a great role model, always willing to try the tasks and activities set, writing and reading work aloud to the class. She meets all students on their level, and I can see that really strong relationships were formed in response.
For me as a facilitator it’s amazing to have the chance to spend so long working with students. I feel I can really begin to understand them, their stories, and their lives, and can tailor each session so they thrive within it. And these students really have grown: by the last workshop, they were bubbling over with excitement, their voices louder, clearer. Their stories no longer ended in a full stop. This anthology feels like the start of something that, for so long, has been waiting to be heard.

 

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