Poet Paul Lyalls is, unsurprisingly, a true believer in the power of the written word: “I think poetry is a great way to say something, it’s the fewest words that’s say the most – it can be done anywhere, you don’t need specialist equipment, you don’t need to have a privileged life and you can get your poetry out into the world.”
Paul has been working, supported by Westway, with all the supplementary schools in Kensington and Chelsea polishing and perfecting their poetry skills: “The students have been writing poems about their own lives … and have been creating very original pieces of work, which is a very important part of poetry - not just writing what is already out there but coming up with new stuff.”
School of Rhyme aims to unlock the potential of young learners and they all contribute to a book of poems to see their words in print. The School also scored a remarkable success with one youngster, Oriet Tesfay, winning a place in the Betjemen poetry prize Top 50.
Awards aside, Paul just loves working in the area: “It’s a fantastic coming-together of lots of different types of people from all walks of life so it’s got that vibrancy, it’s got a great energy to it. It’s a pretty unique kind of mixture of people from around the world and there’s always something unexpected and it’s very welcoming.”
Couldn't have put it any better ourselves, Paul.
(More information about Paul and his new book 'A Funny Thing Happened' can be found on his website.)