“Raising their Voices: Poems by Children in Burngreave” contains poems by over 50 children from six schools in Burngreave. Joanna Sutherland's colourful photographs embellish the book.
Editor and celebrated poet Debjani Chatterjee (pictured) explains that the idea for the poems and the book came out of a Learning Campaign Schools' Poetry Project held in 2008.
“At Owler Brook, children wrote about families and Eid celebrations. Byron Wood children concentrated on poems about faiths and at Whiteways and St Catherine's, children wrote humorous poems about family members and also composed riddle poems – often about animals. Animals were also a focus for Firshill children, who addressed the serious issue of cruelty to animals, whilst Fir Vale pupils were inspired by Refugee Week to write about the plight of refugees.”
Alexis Cowan, extended school coordinator at Byron Wood School, said: “The children were very excited to be in the book! I know Shazia Khan [the class teacher] was thrilled with how it turned out and is hopeful that it will provide inspiration for her current class when they do poetry.”
Who is the Refugee?
Extract from the poem by Sonia Mahmood, Fir Vale School
I want all lands to give up arms.
Life-snatchers, you have done enough!
Who has the courage to admit
We are one world and we should care?
We are all refugees at the doorstep,
Awaiting judgement at life's end.
Copies of ‘Raising Their Voices’ can be obtained for free from Burngreave Library.