Our Young Poet-in-Residence this year is Florence Jones, one of the more ‘senior’ members of Dove Cottage Young Poets, in the last year of her A-Levels and getting ready to leave us for university in September. She first joined the Dove Cottage Young Poets two years ago, and since then has grown to love reading and writing her own poetry. She has taken part in work-shops and readings and was a great hit at last year’s festival. She says she enjoys “the weekly poetry meetings where we like to have a good rant about part-time jobs and sexist people on trains. Being chosen as Young Poet in residence has been the perfect ending to what has been an amazing few years with some of the most inspirational young people that I’ve ever met. I look forward to being able to share some of my work with you at the festival.”
Flo will be performing at the Launch of the Festival on Friday 17th June at 6.30pm alongside our Young Musician in Residence Sam Nicholls (you can get tickets here) and again on the Sunday night Main Reading at 2pm, alongside Linda Gregerson and Ian Duhig and her fellow Dove Cottage Young Poets Heather Hughes and Sophie Hansen (tickets available here). Don’t forget, you can still get 10% off five or more tickets for readings or talks if you buy before May 6th!
A couple of weeks ago, Dove Cottage Young Poets got a chance to work with David Tait, who was Poet in Residence at The Wordsworth Trust.
This is a poem I wrote fairly recently when asked in a workshop run by David Tait to write about a job that I really admire. I come from what can only be described as a family of dentists, uncles, aunts, grandparents and of course both parents. Seeing my parents establish and manage their own dental practice throughout my entire childhood has shown me that it is an incredibly difficult and praiseworthy job, but also one that I never want to do!
Admiration of a dentist’s daughter
I have grown up in surgeries,
amongst the catalogue of old teeth.
Gums checked daily,
drills, X-rays and floss,
free tooth paste and braces.
Day in day out then smile their example.
Molars clench as the same teenage boy
refuses to get in the chair, their voice soothing.
My Dad stumbles through a conversation,
about an old woman’s new conservatory.
Meanwhile blood seeps from his bitten tongue,
the hardest job in a week.
The exhausted mother with 4 rowdy children
shuffles into the room.
Each one wants a ride in the chair before the others,
my mum stares hopelessly at their cracked smiles.
How will she get them to use a toothbrush?
The minute hand crawls to half eight,
only 10 more hours to go.