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Words That Burn - reflect through poetry


First, watch poet and theatre maker Luke Wright share his advice to get started. 

Luke comments “My biggest inspiration? I think it’s my own life”.

We can all reflect on our own lives and use our own unique perspectives to inspire us as poets.


“Dean Atta – ‘I Come From’ – (Apples and Snakes: Blackbox)”. Uploaded by Apples and Snakes

Dean Atta is a poet who inspires many and has himself been inspired by others. Named as one of the most influential LGBT people in the UK by the Independent on Sunday, his debut novel, The Black Flamingo, was awarded the 2020 Stonewall Book Award.

Many poets draw inspiration from others and you can too. For example, Dean responded to a poem ‘I Come From’ by Robert Seatter with his own version. Watch Dean perform ‘I Come From’.  (read the poem)

Now reflect on the poem:

•    What do you like / dislike about the poem?
•    What does the poem tell us about Dean? 
•    Does it trigger any feelings in you?


Write a list of biographical details about yourself. 

Think about what has shaped who you are. This could be a special memory, person, relationship, place, object, food, music, sport, fear, desire or formative experience. 

Write ‘I come from…’ on separate strips of paper, post-it notes or text boxes. Then complete each line with something about yourself. 

Move your lines to find patterns or groupings until you are happy with the order of your poem. You can add as many lines as you like to celebrate who you are. 

Eleanor Roosevelt quote

Words That Burn - bitesize poetry series 

Explore more about the power of poetry with our other bitesize blogs: 

The Words That Burn bitesize poetry series explores the power of poetry and suggests writing activities you can try at home. For full teaching resources visit

About Amnesty UK Blogs
Our blogs are written by Amnesty International staff, volunteers and other interested individuals, to encourage debate around human rights issues. They do not necessarily represent the views of Amnesty International.
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