I’m Richard, and I’m delighted to join the Young Poets’ Stories project as an administrator. I’ve worked with young people since 2011 in primary and secondary schools and colleges, supporting pupils from widening participation backgrounds access higher education. I learned a lot from them, and about schools, the challenges young people face, in particular in gaining access to higher education and the arts.
My work in schools in part motivated my PhD thesis, which I am finishing up now. It focused on the working class in English Literature after the financial crisis of 2008; it made the case that class fiction isn’t only about factory workers and washer women but also about young people, refugees, migrants, and women.
In addition to my role with Young Poets’ Stories, I work with Nottingham UNESCO City of Literature. As a project manager, I work with 14 young people, who represent the work the organisation does in schools and communities, and provide opportunities to develop as readers and writers. Currently, I’m organising a letter-writing campaign called Letters of Solidarity, aiming to get young people to think and write about their experience of lockdown, and I’m eager to see what themes they’ll write about. Will it be about isolation from friends and family? or will they focus on the politics of the crisis, like unemployment, poverty, access to the system, racism, or domestic violence? My experience tells me I should expect to be surprised.
My journey to Young Poets’ Stories has been underpinned by working with and learning from young people. I can’t wait to get started, meet and work with you all, and learn something new.
See you soon!
Richard Bromhall is an arts and education producer in Nottingham. He recently completed his PhD in contemporary English Literature at Nottingham Trent University. More about his work can be found at richardbromhall.com