28th September 2018
Barking & Dagenham College students were visited by well-known writer and performance poet Dean Atta yesterday.
The 20 students have been taking part in the prestigious BBC Student Critics’ Award this month; an initiative created to encourage teenagers to read critically and build confidence in expressing opinions about literature.
Dean Atta's debut poetry collection, I Am Nobody’s Nigger, was shortlisted for the Polari First Book Prize. His poems deal with themes of race, gender, identity and growing up, and have appeared on BBC One’s The One Show and several times on BBC Radio 4, BBC World Service and Channel 4. Dean was named as one of the most influential LGBT people in the UK by the Independent on Sunday.
Barking & Dagenham College was selected by the BBC to take part in the award and students was given exclusive access to the anthology featuring each of the five shortlisted stories alongside BBC Radio 4 recordings of each story.
On Thursday 27th September, Dean visited the College’s Technical Skills Academy to chat with students about what it means to be a judge or critic and about the stories themselves.
Sue Southwood, Director of Essential Skills Development and Innovation at the College said:
“We are very grateful that Dean Atta took time out of his busy schedule to meet our students. We aim to enthuse students them through a rich programme of activities that inspire a love of language beyond the classroom; getting to meet such an esteemed writer and poet as Dean is a fantastic way to do so!”