On Friday 20 October, Roehampton joined our Primary Education Partner, Wimbledon High School, in celebrating Wimbledon Bookfest. There was a fantastic reading and Q&A session from the inspirational George the Poet. George shared poems from his new book, Part of a Story That Started Before Me, a remarkable collection of Black British poets revealing different stories, backgrounds, and events from Black British History.
George the Poet is a spoken word performer, rapper and podcast host from London. His love of words and music shaped his musical poetry career. He has collaborated with singer-songwriters Jorja Smith and Maverick Sabre on their track, Follow The Leader, expressing his ideas, thoughts, and feelings through lyrics, creating a powerful, energising piece of music, which was also played at the event.
He brought this powerful energy to the stage, invigorating the audience, sharing his experiences and pathway to success. He began by reading a poem by Black Ice, a poet who has inspired George since an early age. George explained that “poetry allows you to connect” and to “learn about other people’s stories and backgrounds.” Black Ice is who motivated George to put his experiences and feelings into poetry, to educate and influence others.
George was joined by Sofia Akel in a Q&A session. He spoke about his journey, the story behind his new book and the purpose of poetry. George’s advice to students is to “write for you” and “listen, never stop listening, but find your voice first.” He described poetry as a creative expression, it is a way of saying what is on your mind and “getting your thoughts out of your system.” He expressed the importance of his poetry as a way of sharing stories and educating generations to come about Black British History.
To finish the event, George answered questions from the audience before delivering his final poem called Believing in Yourself. Lastly, he presided over the senior school prize-giving ceremony for the Young Writer’s Competition to aspiring poets.