Plymouth gets poetic

Spread the word about poetry

Plymouth’s wannabe wordsmiths are being invited to unleash their inner laureate and get writing.

The Poetry School – which aims to provide high-quality teaching programmes for adults to develop their poetry – has opened a class in Plymouth.

The course is designed to inspire, motivate and get people to have fun with words and is being hosted by Plymouth poet, Hannah Silva.

Hannah said: “If you like playing with words – this is just for you. This is not about studying sonnets and forms, but having fun with the ideas that come into your head – and if ideas don’t come into your head, I’ve got loads of tricks to help tempt them out.

“Poetry is enjoying huge popularity across the country with poetry slams and evenings. Here in Plymouth a performance-poetry evening ‘Forked’, run by Apples and Snakes is packed out at the B Bar and word is spreading that poetry is not po-faced – it can be funny and entertaining as well.

“People are often intimidated by the thought of a poetry class, but it’s very informal and friendly.  We get people who’ve not written since school, students who like messing with words and people who just want to be a bit more creative.”

A past student said: “I’ve become more confident, more imaginative. It has given me ideas and I find time to write daily – and that’s to do with the confidence that Hannah brings out”.

Hannah, who was described by the Times as ‘one of the most ambitious and entertaining poets in the country’, performs internationally and has recently toured the country with Apples and Snakes.

She is a regular at the London Word Festival, and has featured on Radio 3’s The Verb. She has a background in music, choreography and theatre and is currently artist-in-residence with the Arts Unit, Plymouth City Council. She also runs courses through the Plymouth Adult and Community Learning Service.

There are still places available on the course which is open to new members at any stage. The fee is dependent on how many sessions are left and there’s a generous discount for students, over 60s and concessions. Anyone interested in enrolling should get in touch with the Poetry School by emailing or calling: 0207 582 1679. For further information check out their website at

Hannah Silva on tour with Apples and Snakes. photo Nina Donagh