Cracks in the Curriculum: Poetry from the Personal

Serpentine North Gallery 8 Sep 2016 Free

Octavia Poetry Collective led a workshop for educators exploring poetry as a method to understand and develop personal identities.

Leading out of current discourse around migration, movement and identity, the workshop created a space to explore how we individually and collectively see and understand the world.

Using creative writing, group reading and critical discussion, the group explored the potential of poetry to address diverse personal histories. They proposed a selection of beyond-the-curriculum poets in order to re-think conventional understandings of poetry and build strategies for identifying ourselves in literature. The session included time and support to map out ways of applying the ideas to the classroom.

Octavia is a poetry collective of women of colour. Since their creation in September 2015, Octavia have performed at WOW: Women of the World Festival 2016, featured on BBC’s World Service and have been published in Hotdog magazine, marking the first time a multi-authored poem by women of colour has been published in the United Kingdom.

Cracks in the Curriculum aims to bring artists and teachers together to discuss ways of bringing pressing social issues into the classroom. The workshop was devised for anyone who works with children or young people and wants to join an active discussion about poetry and identity in schools.

This workshop ran in parallel to Etel Adnan’s exhibition The Weight of the World at the Serpentine North Gallery.


Curated by:

Alex Thorp, Curator, Education

Ben Messih, Assistant Curator, Education


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