For this year’s Book Week the Upper School ISS Learning Commons staff had a real treat in store. Whilst the Lower School hosted author Paul Robson and Susanne Kessler, the Upper School hosted Irish poet, playwright and children’s novelist Terry McDonagh for the second time in the school’s history.
Terry first visited ISS approximately 12 years ago. Since then his writing has become even more prolific and has been rewarded with great success. Only recently his latest anthology of poetry Lady Cassie Peregrina was launched in Ireland to a great reaction.
ISS was eager to host Terry not only because of his literary versatility but also because of what his life experiences can bring to a school like ours. A native of County Mayo in the West of Ireland Terry lives in Hamburg, and as well as English speaks fluent German and according to him, rusty Irish. He is a qualified teacher and has taught in International Schools including the International school of Hamburg where his son attends. Terry’s work has been translated into both German and Indonesian and he works regularly with schools both in Germany and Ireland. So, he is very much an international person.
Terry conducted creative writing workshops with grades 6 to 10 during their scheduled English classes with other subject teachers releasing their students in order that double periods could take place encouraging an unhurried hub of creative activity. The workshops were all held in the Upper School Library.
Terry, not only read samples of his poetry, but enticed the students to produce work of their own and read them out loud. Both the teachers and Terry were very impressed with the quality of work that students produced.
Anthologies of Terry’s poetry can be borrowed from ISS libraries or see Mr. Lawrence in the Upper School Library if you are interested in having your own personal signed copy. For more information about Terry do please visit his website.