In Spring 2015, students at New VIc (Newham Sixth Form College) took part in a new creative writing and publishing Brave New Words project. Led by writer and performance poet Femi Martin and designer Brett Evans Biedscheid, the group were at the forefront of producing the anthology at every stage – writing, editing and designing.
The result is Write the Wrong, a powerful chorus of new voices that use multilingualism as a creative asset and offer fresh perspectives on the world around them. From a Westminster lamppost lamenting inequality to a frustrated commuter ranting about public transport, a portrait of London as seen through the eyes of its young citizens emerges, by turns moving and funny.
Some of the students took part in the Between EU and Me project last year: you can hear Amy performing her poem ‘Smidgen for a Pigeon’ on the Playing With Words podcast. English PEN are also delighted that Ayah Benberna, one of the writers featured in Write the Wrong, is one of only two students in the UK to have been awarded an Adobe Creative Scholarship to fund her university studies.
Workshop facilitator Femi Martin said:
Write the Wrong asks us questions, and asks questions of us. It is a collection of work from brave voices that jumps over hurdles and breaks through barriers. I couldn’t be prouder of these talented young writers.
New VIc principal Eddie Playfair said:
What is so wonderful about this project is to see students developing and refining their voices, working hard to express exactly what they want to say… For me, this poetry work is as functional as any functional literacy we do and I hope we can continue to offer projects like this to our students.
Many thanks to Newham Sixth Form College for funding the project.