Main content

We Are Writing a Poem about Home

A poem by Kate Clanchy and the Very Quiet Foreign Girls in which Britain talks to itself in 54 languages. With poems from Robert Seatter and Azfa Awad.

This radio poem by Kate Clanchy and the Very Quiet Foreign Girls was nominated for the Ted Hughes Award for New Work in Poetry.

Some poets like woods. Some poets like cliffs. Kate Clanchy likes schools: in particular the small, extremely diverse and often challenging comprehensive where she has been working for the last seven years: Oxford Spires Academy.

A school which still looks and sounds like the grammar school it once was - until you look closer and see there are more black faces than white, that most of the cricket team comes from Bangladesh, and that as they have 54 languages between them - Latvian, Nepalese, Hungarian, Kiswahili, Ibo and six kinds of Arabic - the kids have decided to speak English in the idiom of Kanye West, even if they are Lithuanian. This is a community without a majority culture - a place where, as no one is really sure of the right way to do things, eccentricity and creativity flourish.

Between the Ears takes us into Kate's poetry workshop to meet its multi award-winning young poets. This new Britain is writing a new poem about home: the homes and home countries they came from, the new homes they have found, and the home they are making in their school and in their writing.

With poems from Robert Seatter and Azfa Awad.

Producer: Jonquil Panting
Sound design: Eloise Whitmore.

Available now

30 minutes

Last on

Sat 21 Jan 2017 21:30


  • Sat 10 Oct 2015 21:30
  • Sat 21 Jan 2017 21:30

Featured in...

Binaural sound

Binaural sound

What is it and why does it matter?