A NEW project encouraging York pupils to read, write and perform poetry is about to get under way in city secondary schools as part of the Literature Festival.

Called On The Mic, the scheme has been organised by York Literature Festival director and local poet Miles Salter, with funds secured from the Community York Fund and the Clore Duffield Trust to provide creative workshops in all ten city state secondaries.

Poet and comedian Kate Fox, who often features on BBC Radio 4’s Saturday Live, will lead the workshops, with 60 pupils participating from each school.

Kate will work with students to read a poem, write a poem and perform a poem. Selected pupils will then perform at a special event in Tempest Anderson Hall in Museum Gardens on March 30 as part of York Literature Festival, which runs from March 20 to 31.

Mr Salter said: “The festival has been a big hit with York adults in recent years, but we knew there was a lot more we could do with York schools.

“This is the first project we have run, and it’s a great project because it combines education with a love of literature, and the all-important communication skills that every adult needs in today’s world.

“I’m thrilled that Kate Fox will work with 600 pupils to engage them in poetry. Kate is funny and enthusiastic and will be a big hit in schools.”

The Clore Duffield Trust, which supports work in cultural learning, has provided £7,745 towards the project’s costs, with additional support from the Community York fund.

Mr Salter said: “We are very grateful to both Clore Duffield Trust and to Community York fund for their help.”

The first workshop takes place on Monday, February 24, at Joseph Rowntree School. Kate will visit all ten secondary schools between then and Wednesday, March 12.

The finale event on Sunday, March 30, at Tempest Anderson Hall will start at 7pm. Parents and families of local pupils are welcome to attend this event free of charge.