Resource

Notes from a pandemic: poetry resources

Added 21 Dec 2021
Poet workshop

In 2021, our Young Birmingham Poets programme partnered with Birmingham City Council to deliver reflective poetry workshops to help students reflect on their experiences of the COVID-19 pandemic through poetry.

We're now thrilled to share the resources developed through this partnership so that you can run your own reflective poetry project on the pandemic with your class.

The resources were designed in collaboration with poet Nafeesa Hamid and are suitable for students from ages 9 to 14 (Years 5 to 9). They would be effective delivered as part of the English or PSHE curricula.

The resources comprise

  • guidance notes for you to lead your class through a series of group and individual free-writing exercises and reflective activities that will take students on a learning journey
  • discussion activities that draw on a range of information and misinformation about COVID-19, challenging some of the myths about the virus and the vaccine
  • prompts and inspiration that culminate in students composing their own poems


Poems in performance

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.

Rollercoaster by Jasmine Gardosi

"Just do whatever makes you feel safe. It’s more than okay to go at your pace."

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’, premiered at the Warwick Arts Centre in October 2021.

Summer Jumble by Nafeesa Hamid

About Nafeesa Hamid

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.