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Interview with Star, our Work Experience Student!

Poetry has been a way for me to break out of my shell, become something more than myself.

Hi Star, we’ve really enjoyed having you around for your work experience this week, and you’ve been an enormous help to us here at the Poetry School. On your last day, we wanted to ask you a few questions about your time here.

First of all, can you tell us a bit about yourself?


My name is Star and I’m 17 years old. I’m from London, Mile End and currently in full time education. I am in year 12 and studying Biology, Psychology and English Literature with plans to go to Cambridge University to study Psychology. I have a keen interest in Psychology and the mind, particularly mental health disorders such as Depression, Bipolar and Schizophrenia. I’m a literary enthusiast and love reading books from all genres and time periods, some of my particular favourites include: To Kill A Mockingbird, The Catcher In The Rye, Rooftoppers and Ways To Live Forever. I also enjoy writing stories and poetry, some of my favourite poets include: Patience Agbabi, Luke Wright and Andrew McMillan. I am currently in the process of writing an online novel called Elora and looking to publish my first poetry book. I have a love for East and Southeast Asian culture as well as sport. I am also the owner of countless multi coloured gel pens, pencils and decorated notebooks.

How have you found your time here at the Poetry School?

I have thoroughly enjoyed my time working at the Poetry School as I have been exposed to new poets that I would have otherwise probably never have found out about and been able to read a wide variety of poetry books and anthologies. I was also introduced to the Poetry School’s ‘Campus’ where I was able to read other people’s poetry and gain inspiration for my own. Everyone here made me feel welcomed which helped me to settle faster. They also shared their own poetry and were kind enough to listen to mine and help me on my ‘poetic road’ The atmosphere is always nice to work in and there is a strong sense of teamwork. As well as this everyone made sure that I was included, often asking for my opinions of different matters. The tutors that I met were also very kind and the summer school sessions that I was lucky enough to attend were very engaging and helpful and have also helped me improve on my own poetry.

How is being at work different from being at school?

I feel as though being at work and school are quite similar but being at work gives you a greater sense of importance as you have a role and everyone depends on you to complete that role and complete that role to a high standard. Your job does not only affect you, but those around you and how people look at the organisation you work for as a whole. We are all gears working together to make a clock work, and if one stops working then the ‘clock’ is compromised. Whereas in school, your work only directly affects you, if you don’t complete a piece of work, or you forget to do your homework, the only person who is losing out is you, other people won’t be affected by your decisions on whether to do your work or to what standard you do it. Also in school you can almost get away with cutting corners, or not paying attention or even missing a day or two or turning up late because you don’t really feel like turning up on that particular day, although I would not advise it, at work you can’t afford to do those kinds of things as you will get fired and replaced. However, just like school, at work you learn a lot of new things and you learn how to communicate with different people as well as making new friendships and acquaintances and gaining new experiences, knowledge and understanding.

Finally, what interests you about poetry, and what poetry do you like?

The feelings and emotions portrayed in poetry is what interests me the most. How a poet can pour their heart and soul out and fill it in a pen like ink and write. How they create images that fill out heads like watching a painting take place in front of your eyes. How their words can be interpreted in many different ways depending on the angle you look at it from and what kind of person you are. How they play with words and metaphors and similes using all different ‘colours’. I like learning new words from poetry and trying to unpick the meaning and what the poet is trying to tell us. I like that in poetry there is no right or wrong, there aren’t really any rules that you have to abide by. I love how poetry just has so much self-expression and for me, a person who finds it hard to express themselves and their feelings in everyday chats, poetry has been a way for me to break out of my shell, become something more than myself, express myself and get out all the thoughts and feelings that can get bottled up inside and threaten to burst out like a volcano.

Star is a 17-year-old A-Level student from Mile End. She has been at the Poetry School for a week’s work experience through our partnership with IntoUniversity.

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