Last Monday, students in Years 10 and 11 were treated to a discussion about poetry with the internationally acclaimed poet, Imtiaz Dharker.

We sat in the hall eagerly with our poetry anthologies at the ready, since Imtiaz Dharker's poem, Tissue, features on the new AQA GCSE English specification. However, we all learnt far more than just the meaning of the poem, as she discussed her life and how her incredible experiences as a self identifying 'Scottish Muslim Calvinist adopted by India and married into Wales' have influenced her poetry.

Many of us were truly astounded to hear her fascinating story. In particular, we were shocked to hear her experience of her house collapsing which led her to abandon all her possessions - that would certainly give me some inspiration!

She also read to us some of her other poems, including many from her book Over the Moon. It was very useful to hear a broader perspective of her work, as well as extremely enjoyable and often entertaining, too.

The talk concluded on her poem Tissue. Initially, Imtiaz talked about the imagery and symbolism of a tissue itself; as well as discussing how paper could be used for so many things and even form a person's identity. After this, we were able to ask many questions, which varied from 'How do you feel your poem reflects conflict in the world?', to the more direct 'How long did it take for you to make money from poetry?'

Overall, it was an intriguing, enjoyable talk and on behalf of all of Years 10 and 11, I'd like to thank Imtiaz Dharker immensely for giving up her morning to speak to us.