Second published book by Durlston School pupils

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Senior Pupils at Durlston Prep and Senior School in the New Forest have published a collection of poems

Durlston Court School pupils

Senior Pupils at Durlston Prep and Senior School recently launched their second published book.

The Year 8 and 9 pupils have been working with local poet Clive Asher over the academic year in workshops aimed at helping the pupils to recognise the power of poetry. Clive, a published poet, is passionate about the power of words, and has his own story to tell about writing poetry. Until three years ago Clive, a local window-cleaner, had never written a poem. Then, during the first lockdown he began to write poems which he shared on Facebook. A follower contacted Clive because his wife was seriously ill. He asked Clive if he could write something for his wife who had terminal cancer. Clive sent the man a few, carefully written words, formed into a poem. Unknown to Clive, the woman loved the poem so much, she kept it by her bed. After she died, her husband contacted Clive again tell him he had put the poem in his wife’s coffin. From that moment Clive started to write with renewed purpose. Within a year Clive was not only posting on social media but his poems were included in local magazines, radio and he was invited to read a poem at Auschwitz for the Holocaust Memorial Day.

Clive joined Ms Asplin-Locke, Head of English at Durlston, to inspire the pupils to write a poem to read to a loved one and then encouraged them to see the recipient’s reaction. Ms Asplin-Locke explained “Clive’s guidance to the pupils was to think about someone that really mattered to them and the quality of the poetry that emerged during the workshop was stunning, we felt we had to do their work justice by publishing a book.” The poems were then crafted into a book, beautifully illustrated by Nanou Blair Gould. It was a great opportunity for the children to think about all the many aspects of writing and publishing as a career opportunity. Nanou had also worked with some of the children before, 3 years ago, when during lockdown, their class decided to collaborate in writing a novella – ‘A Small Town Boy’ which was subsequently published.

The pupils, parents, Clive, Nanou and staff at Durlston were thrilled to be able to celebrate the official launch of the book and the collection of poems ‘'Only Through Love Can You Understand' is now available to purchase via Amazon.

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