Since becoming Birmingham Poet Laureate in 2007, Charlie’s focus has been moving from radio to literary pursuits. Her work in education involves lifting poems off the page to bring them to life and engage pupils with literacy.
Emma Clifford, English teacher, Earls High School: ‘The Students spent a fantastic day with Charlie. The activities planned were exciting, stimulating and enjoyable. All the students joined in and created some brilliant and compelling poetry. Many students commented on how much it had helped their self esteem, speaking skills and team work.’
Charlie works with young people of all ages, and has worked in Pupil Referral Units, and prisons. She also has experience of working with children recently bereaved, and those on the autistic spectrum, and her warm, encouraging approach yields profound results. Liza Dresner, director of Resources for Autism: ‘It was a wonderful session. Amazing to see a group of teenagers sitting spellbound listening to a poem. They went on to write their own poems, followed by a performance by the entire group – something I would not have anticipated.’
Happy to work in or outside of the classroom, Charlie has created several site responsive projects including working at Shugborough Hall and with the Staffordshire Hoard. She was part of the ‘Words and Willows’ project at the National Memorial Arboretum for several years, which opened up a dialogue about war with pupils of all ages.
Feedback from Yr 8 student from Landau Forte Academy, ‘The poet coming to our school was great. Charlie taught me new things on how to write a poem and new features I can add into my work in school. I feel she has taught me to respect poetry and not just put it into a different category, ’cause I thought poetry was boring until Charlie Jordan changed my views on poetry all together. I am very grateful for this amazing workshop, I will never forget it.’
Following the success of the ‘Free Speech’ project, Charlie worked on the 3year ‘Hear My Voice’ project for the Lichfield Festival. This combined working with survivors of domestic abuse and families from two children’s hospices. The resulting work was celebrated with performances at Lichfield Cathedral where the confidence built up throughout the project shone through in each participant, and tested Charlie’s waterproof mascara….