“Can poetry help to develop digital education in English language education?”


Workshop with Matt Holland MA (Oxf) PGCE (Oxf)

Organized by Manuela Wipperfürth

Students of two courses on the topic of “Digital education in the literary language classroom” were invited to take part in a workshop with Matt Holland MA (Oxf) PGCE (Oxf), founder and director of the Swindon Festival of Literature, UK. The event was granted with financial support from the Faculty after a successful application for an innovative teaching project (“Innovative Lehre”).

After enjoying some poetry together, Matt Holland shared insights from his extensive experience with engaging readers of all ages, backgrounds and prior experiences with poetry through formats like poetry slams, youth slams, readings or writing groups. The role of educational settings and the potential of poetry for critical literacy and digital education was explored. Although discussed highly controversially, learning a poem by heart can mean that life experiences gradually allow us to explore the meanings the poem holds for our individual life stories. To share one of our favorite poems of the event, please enjoy the following one called “Crisps”:

Crisps, … I love them. Crisps, they are the best, 
A crunchy consolation, whenever I'm depressed. 
Crisps are the real thing, they make me feel exalted, 
Be they cheese and onion, chicken, beef, 
Or plain old ready salted. 
When I eat a bag of crisps I never want to stop, 
How I wish the manufacturers would fill them to the top. 
Crisps are delicious, crisps are sublime, 
If crisps were illegal I'd end up doing time, 
And if ever I was robbed, and all my things were taken, 
I pray to God they'd leave behind a bag of smoky bacon. 

Marvin Cheeseman