08 Jan 2019 / #Arvon50
It was an English teacher at school who first introduced me to the word ‘Arvon’, after having seen that creative writing was important to me. I often reflect on that conversation and wonder where my writing might be – had it not been for his guidance.
I was the first person in my family to stay in education post-16 and was in the sixth form when Arvon and school supported my participation on a ‘Starting to Write: Poetry’ week at Totleigh Barton. It changed my life. From the moment I arrived, I was not treated like a pupil but as an artist; being taken seriously, in the way that Arvon does with such integrity and purpose, has long-term impact. I have met truly wonderful writers, tutors, educators, and supporters through the Arvon courses I have been fortunate enough to attend, and these people have supported me and countless others throughout the first steps of our writing careers.
Well over a decade after my first course, I am now planning to introduce a third group of emerging writers to the Arvon magic as an English teacher who now knows what creative writing can unlock for young people. There are many great initiatives that the Arvon family have launched over the years but their #TeachersAsWriters research project shows the noble philosophy at the core of all that they stand for: finding ways for everyone to reach their creative potential as writers. There isn’t anything greater than that.
Arvon turned 50 in 2018 and to celebrate we have collected the stories of writers far and wide who have a tale to tell about Arvon. The collection is published in our anniversary booklet and featured on our blog. This contribution is by Ben Bransfield (Poet & Poetry Society Teacher Trailblazer).
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