Young Birmingham Poets: Notes from a Pandemic


In the summer of 2021, Young Birmingham Poets partnered with Birmingham City Council to deliver reflective poetry workshops to help students and care home residents in Birmingham reflect on their experiences of the pandemic through poetry.

Following the workshops, poets Jasmine Gardosi and Nafeesa Hamid composed poems of their own in response to the pandemic and collaborated with award winning documentary filmmaker and photographer Paul Stringer to record the commissioned poems as spoken word films.

You can now run your own reflective poetry project on the pandemic with your class! More details, the poems and the Notes from a Pandemic resources can be found below.

Rollercoaster by Jasmine Gardosi

About Jasmine Gardosi

Jasmine Gardosi is a multiple slam champion, Birmingham Poet Laureate finalist and winner of the Out-Spoken Prize for Poetry. She uses audience participation, beatboxing and music to explore themes of identity, self-expression, LGBTQ issues and mental health. A previous BBC Arts Young Creative and Poet in Residence for the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust, she is a current Writer in Residence at the Brontë Parsonage Museum, and runs school and community workshops around the UK. Her debut pamphlet ‘Hurtz’ is published by Verve Poetry Press and her brand-new music and poetry show exploring gender identity, ’Dancing to Music You Hate’, premieres at the Warwick Arts Centre on 26/27th October 2021. Read the poem here.

Summer Jumble by Nafeesa Hamid

About Nafeesa

Nafeesa Hamid is a British Pakistani poet and playwright based in Birmingham. She has been writing and performing for 6 years at nights around the UK. She has featured at Outspoken (London), Poetry is Dead Good (Nottingham), Find the Right Words (Leicester) and Hit The Ode (Birmingham). She was invited to perform at TedxBrum 2016 (Power of us). Nafeesa has also performed at Cheltenham and Manchester Literature Festivals as part of The Things I Would Tell You: British Muslim Women Write, a recent (2017) anthology publication by Saqi Books, edited by Sabrina Mahfouz. She is an alumni of Mouthy Poets and Derby Theatre Graduate Associate Artists. Nafeesa also runs Twisted Tongues, an open-mic only poetry night at The Station in Kings Heath. Read the poem here.

Notes from a Pandemic Resources and Lessons

The Notes from a Pandemic resources have been designed in collaboration with poet Nafeesa Hamid and are suitable for students from Years 5 to 9.

The lessons can be delivered as part of the English or PSHE curricula.

A series of free writing exercises and reflective activities will guide students on a learning journey, which culminates in the composition of two poems. Discussion activities will also draw on a range of information and misinformation about COVID-19 challenging some of the myths about the virus and the vaccine.

Download the resources below to find out how each session is structured and to explore the topics covered, and the associated materials.