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Poet Ian Stephen

Ian Stephen is a writer, artist and sailor from the Western Isles, whose sequence of recent maritime poems was published in the Oxford Poets Anthology 2013. We welcomed Ian to school on Thursday 3 October, as part of our National Poetry Day activities, when he worked with S5/6 students in the library.

Ian read from Homer’s Odyssey about “Aeolus and the bag of winds” and went on to convey a sense of poetry as a voyage of discovery. Pupils were challenged to write what they had understood from the saga as a text message, which they did extremely well, after their initial astonishment at being asked to use their mobile phones in class. Ian explained how to strip their poetry and writing to the bare minimum, yet retain powerful and effective language.

All the students enjoyed a productive session, with many tips and advice to remember.