The Performance Poet Who Gave Us the Stage The Performance Poet Who Gave Us the Stage The Performance Poet Who Gave Us the Stage The Performance Poet Who Gave Us the Stage

The Performance Poet Who Gave Us The Stage

"Whatever you can do or dream you can, begin it. Boldness has genius, power and magic in it. Begin it now", urged Goethe. And after having watched the performance poet and playwright Ash Kotak work with different classes at Sidcot School on Thursday 6 October, it was easy to see that this sentiment was dominant in his approach to his work in schools. Students were encouraged to put aside their reservations, their doubts and hesitations and just write. Poetry commenced immediately: fingers tapped screens, pens scrawled, pencils were chewed, but most of all, creativity, spontaneity, a love of language and fun filled the Quaker Meeting House.

With the theme of ‘Messages’ as their prompt, established rhymesters like Moses Ideka wowed with their wit and wordplay; Katie Sinclair and Olivia Fortune recited some of their best lines; Will Lwellyn mixed poetry with uplifting rhetoric to provide an inspiring message about our ability to make a better Britain; Tom White and Genevieve Lane waxed lyrical on our obsession with phones. What was most evident were the voices of the children – their poetic voices, performing, entertaining and taking flight. They had begun, and boldly!  And this is the genius of Ash Kotak: he is a facilitator par excellence. In assembly we heard his work: it was bright, playful, inventive and thought-provoking. But, whether he was working with the Lower Fourth or the Sixth Form, it was clear that he hadn’t come to hear the sound of his own voice; he had come to help us find ours.

Jake Resuggan
Teacher of English

Bombing in Aleppo

In the middle of


And bomb craters

The youths play so

They can forget.

Joy appears in their hearts

For the first time in a while

After it hid under one of

The many destroyed and

Fallen walls.

People are still afraid to

Come out since their lives might

Have been scarred maybe forever

They are terrified of the fallen

Whispering angels of


An image appears

Looking down the ground from one of the very last

Windows of the city.

It´s a mother holding her baby very

Tightly as he asked ´´ Mom why can´t

bombs falling from the sky be apple pies?´´

As she looks at one of the many scars created by one of

the many attacks she suddenly responds

´´ I wish my love, I wish´´

Nico Gianiorio  

Independent day and boarding school for boys and girls aged 3 - 18 in Somerset