Puxi Poetry Week: A Celebration of the Power of Words

At Dulwich College Shanghai Puxi, we believe that every student has the right to access the sharpest minds, past and present, to receive the very best of teaching and learning. Our curriculum embraces all mediums of communication from around the world, exposing students to global views; thoughts, ideas, and knowledge from which they develop their own international mindset. It is our belief that by doing this, our students not only learn about the world around them, but as they develop, they will have a greater ability to transform it in the future. 

To make this transformation, it is necessary to think about what we can change to make the world that we live in a better place. The concept of ‘change’ is the main theme of this years ‘Puxi Poetry Week’ at Dulwich College Shanghai Puxi. The ‘Puxi Poetry Week’ is an opportunity for staff and students to come together to celebrate poetry and take part in a variety of poetry-related events. 

“What is this life if, full of care,

We have no time to stand and stare.”

At the start of the week, students gathered in their houses to decide who would represent their House at Dulwich College Shanghai Puxi’s ‘Poetry Celebration’ that took place this afternoon. This was an opportunity for students to present a poem to staff and fellow students in the College theatre. Each student was responsible for finding or creating a poem relating to the theme of ‘change’. This was not the only celebration of poetry that students experienced this week. Each morning students have been able to immerse themselves while listening to members of staff and students reading poetry over the school PA system. This has allowed students to listen to poems that they may otherwise have not listened to and this has helped them to develop an appreciation for the different forms that poetry can take. 

“Poetry is important because of the different emotions it allows us to feel. It helps us to empathise with the emotions that other people are feeling.”
– Madeleine, Year 7

Our students at Dulwich College Shanghai Puxi have also been working with Mark Grist, a UK-based poet and battle rapper, during poetry week. Mr Grist is a multi-award winning poet and international battle rapper with over 40 million views for his poetry and rap videos online. He has won two International Webby Awards, toured hundreds of schools around the world & even competed in a rap battle judged by Ice Cube (which he won). Recently, Mr Grist’s work has appeared on BBC1, ITV, BBC Teach, Channel 4, BBC 6 music and he recently starred in his own documentary ‘Mark Grist Battles the World’ for RedBull TV.  As part of ‘Puxi Poetry Week, Mr Grist has been delivering online poetry workshops to help refine their poetry writing skills. 

In addition to these events, students had the opportunity to create their own poem that they could then submit to Dulwich College Shanghai Puxi’s ‘Poetry Anthology’. This is an anthology that is comprised by student poems relating to the theme of ‘change’. These students can choose to share their poems at the ‘Open Mic’ poetry event that is taking place in our ‘immersive poetry room’ on Thursday and Friday lunchtime. 

Appreciating poetry creates a broader appreciation for literature, and the many ways we can convey meaning and emotion. Puxi Poetry Week is a fun, annual staple in the Dulwich College Shanghai Puxi calendar, which we hope can spark a greater interest in poetry, as well as other forms of expression.