Transforming Spoken Words in our Workshop into poetry – by Alison Phipps

Found in Room 611


“They are new to language”

she said,

“Art” (forgive the pun)

is a big draw”

They have experienced trauma.

They are permanently excluded

Art shows us what is going on.


Her mother was a fashion designer

So all the textile teachers know.

It’s about sharing.


There was 1 black person

Then 2.

I am here to absorb.


I’m teaching English.

Step up to English

with many new arrivals

Let’s be informed by their stories


Do you mind if I paint my hand?

He painted his whole arm

And rolled it out on the paper

Do you mind if I paint my face?

He did it.

He rolled it out on the paper

greens, blues, reds.


The Cotham language of the day is Czech

Dubla Rahlo

Dubla rahlo


“Be we haven’t done all the languages!”

And we are bringing dishes from around the world

What do you bring from your own cultures?






I manage to work with children


Their schooling has been

severely interrupted.

I loved the suitcases.

So much language.


They don’t like to talk

they draw pictures:

a helicopter

sleeping in bed



Then the earthquake

How the family perished

except his father.


It’s about them

What do they want to put in their suitcases?


What do the children see?

in the school environment.


Is my language here?

Is my family here?


Do you mind if I paint my hand?

Do you mind if I paint my face?


Date: Wednesday, 2nd May 2018

Room: 2S611 Frenchay Campus