Edith coming off the page

Today was our Edith Sitwell schools’ taster day, run in collaboration with the University of Hull, Scarborough campus outreach, Woodend Creative Industries Centre and Scarborough Library. We had 26 young people coming from three local schools. They were introduced to the history of Woodend and to aspects of Edith Sitwell’s life and poetry. They were treated to a performance of an extract of Façade. They learnt something of what it is to be a writer, to play with and then craft words, to search within and without for inspiration.

Some dived into it with great confidence and that was lovely to see. However, as usual for me, it was those who struggled that held my curiosity. Two lasses responded to all my suggestions and questions with, ‘I don’t know’. So in the end we created a embryonic rap with the repeated line of (yes, you’ve guessed it) ‘I don’t know’.

It was hard work and I am very grateful for the support of all involved. I am left with the even greater conviction that, far from being a dusty has-been, given the chance, Edith still leaps off the page. Well, at least, there are 26 young people in the Scarborough area who on hearing Edith’s name won’t look blank but should have something to say about her.

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