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PL Writing Stars: 'Poetry is in us all'

12 Nov 2018

Writing Stars judge and poet Joseph Coelho on why he is getting involved in this year's Premier League competition

Joseph Coelho hopes that the Premier League Writing Stars competition will get children into poetry in the same way that he did after meeting a poet at school.

The League's competition returns for a second year to encourage primary school children to try creative writing.

Coelho, a poet, is a judge this year and has written a poem, Beautifully different, wonderfully the same, to help young people follow in his footsteps.

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"When I was young, I didn't think about poetry too much. It wasn't something that I felt was for me.

"Then an amazing poet called Jean Binta Breeze came into my school when I was in the sixth form. That was the spark for me for realising that I could be a poet.

"After that I remember writing lots of poems and taking my poems into drama class and trying to convince my peers to read them as part of our performances, which they never did, sadly!

"My foray into writing poems had started.

"That light being switched on felt like I suddenly I had access to a medium which allowed me to express myself and my emotions.

"It allowed an escape if I was feeling upset or angry. I had a means of managing that anger, that sadness, that joy, that enthusiasm, on the page which was something I didn't have access to before.

Stars read Beautifully different, wonderfully the same

"I really hope that Premier League Writing Stars inspires many people to realise that poetry is there for them and that through poetry, they can express themselves.

"It doesn't matter if the poem is happy or sad, it's about having access to this wonderful short medium that can be used in so many different circumstances and can help us in so many different ways throughout our lives.

"Premier League Writing Stars is really important for young people in schools because it provides a solid focus for your writing.

"There's nothing more encouraging than knowing that there's a chance of winning a competition and winning a prize but also getting involved in something that many people are getting involved in. It creates a sense of togetherness.

"It shows young people that writing, poetry, PE and education, everything has a meeting place and that we don't need to box ourselves into being interested in one sort of thing.

"We can be footballers and be inspired by poetry; we can be poets and be inspired by football.

"Poetry is something that is in us all and accessible to us all, just like football is."

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