Poet is a massive hit with budding Fareham writers

TIPS Paul Cookson with Claire Roche, 10
TIPS Paul Cookson with Claire Roche, 10
Forest School Leaders Dawn White and Sue Evans with their pupils outside the school

Picture: Habibur Rahman (180146-338)

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YOUNGSTERS were inspired by a poet who gave a rousing performance of his works and top tips on how to pen a good rhyme.

Paul Cookson was a massive hit at Wicor Primary in Fareham where he entertained youngsters with readings from his new anthology Pants on Fire and treated them to his electric ukelele playing.

The school’s Fiction Fanatics Year Six club of avid readers also had the chance to ask him about his career over lunch.

Luke Wallis, 10, said: ‘He was absolutely brilliant. He was extremely funny and he inspired me to write my own poems to put in my anthology.’

Claire Roche, 10, added: ‘When he sat next to me I thought I was dreaming, but then I heard him speak.

‘I just thought “a real poet is sitting next to me – wow!”’

Headteacher Mark Wildman said: ‘Paul Cookson definitely inspired the children to want to read and write poetry and since his visit I have received many requests from children to read poetry aloud to the school in assemblies.

‘Our librarian has reported record borrowing levels of poetry books from the school library.

‘Lots of the children have asked me “when are we having Paul Cookson back to our school?” and I’m certain it won’t be long before he returns to Wicor to inspire us all once again.’