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Poet’s Presence a Sheers Delight


Owen Sheers speaks to students about his poetry.

Notre Dame’s English Department was delighted to secure a visit from multi-award winning British writer Owen Sheers on Wednesday 30 January 2019. Mr Sheers is a novelist, poet and playwright, who holds the position of Professor in Creativity at Swansea University. He has also presented arts and literature programmes for radio and TV. As he is so prolific across a variety of disciplines, it’s no surprise that he is rarely able to visit schools or colleges. Our staff were extremely pleased with the unique opportunity for Notre Dame students to meet Mr Sheers, hear him read, and ask about his work. We invited students from local schools to attend. The Grammar School at Leeds, Rodillian Academy and Woodkirk Academy came along to share this inspirational experience.

Mr Sheers’ second collection of poetry, Skirrid Hill, is a set text on the WJEC and AQA A level English Literature syllabuses. During his visit, Mr Sheers read from Skirrid Hill, then took part in a question and answer session.

After the event student Yen Cortez commented: ‘Sheers boosted our confidence by telling us to trust the poem, not the poet. He really helped us understand that we can interpret meaning in a variety of ways as long as we support our ideas with evidence.’
This certainly was a visit that our students are unlikely to forget.