“A contemporary spoken soul breathing new life into performance poetry for children”
Eastfield Primary Academy, Grimsby
“What a wonderful event! Matt hit the perfect tone for our students and dispelled some of those poet visit clichés perfectly. Sometimes students perceive poets to just be about nature and love and not about ‘real life’ but Matt helped our students to connect and engage immediately. His down to earth presentation and open honesty helped them to see that poets are indeed just like them. Engaging, funny and warm, he made our students at ease and confident to ask questions – they were hooked! We’ve already discussed running a Matt Abbott scheme of learning for next year!”
Sherburn High School, Sherburn-in-Elmet
since 2013, i’ve been delivering a range of spoken word and poetry workshops for both formal and non-formal learning groups, from primary school pupils through to pensioners.
i’ve worked for a range of organisations including museums and galleries; educational organisations; arts and music festivals; and community groups and charities. i’m able to tailor sessions to a variety of desired outcomes and objectives.
my main strengths are my enthusiasm and confidence building, and my ability to articulate to specific groups and individuals as required. i have no formal teaching experience or qualifications; i simply have a passion for words and poetry.
in terms of formal education work, as well as the standard set-up i’ve also worked with GCSE pupils that were flagged up as struggling in English, pupils who have been excluded from mainstream education, and voluntary after-school groups. this includes SEMH schools and PRUs.
in summer 2017, i was appointed as an ambassador for Eureka! The National Children’s Museum with this poem. in late 2018, i was commissioned to write ‘Remarkable Lives‘ for AET – the largest schools group in England – and this has since been incorporated into their core identity.
my début collection for kids ‘A Hurricane in my Head’ was published by Bloomsbury Education in July, and signed copies are available to purchase here. it’s targeted at kids aged 10-14 but is suitable for 8+. it was a National Poetry Day selected title in 2019 and led to a live appearance on Blue Peter.
outside of formal education, i’ve worked with refugees and asylum seekers, youth offending teams, homeless charities and NEETs, as well as adults that have signed up for writing and/or performance workshops through festivals and events.
i have an Enhanced DBS certificate from September 2022 and i drive. i’m based in Leeds but regularly work around the UK and am happy to travel, depending on my availability. as well as booking me directly, you’ll also find me on the books of leading national organisations including The Poetry Society, Authors Abroad, Arvon, and the National Literacy Trust.
“Matt was excellent – thank you [The Poetry Society] for bringing us together. Best comment from a student: “I used to think poetry was crap but I like it now”. Brilliant”
The Brooksbank School, Halifax
“Matt visited some Liverpool schools as part of our Liverpool Children’s Festival of Reading and he was great! He worked with KS2 and KS3 pupils; performing some of his own work as well as supporting them in beginning to create and write their own poetry!”
Liverpool Learning Partnership
“It was fantastic having Matt in school for two days. All the children he worked with, from Years 1 to 6, were enthused by poetry as a result of his sessions. They wrote poems as individuals and classes, even wanting to carry on with them after Matt had left, and were left buzzing from the experience.”
Holy Trinity Primary, Halstead
“Matt’s poetry workshops today with our high ability students were fantastic – the ideas he provoked from within them was amazing to see. The outcomes were second to none and the students excitedly rushed to me the next day with their finished product! Thank you Matt – We will be calling on you again in the future!”
Unity City Academy, Middlesbrough
“Matt came in to work with our Y3 children; his poetry work was very engaging & allowed the children to develop their own ideas. This was clear as their work during the English poetry unit was of a very high standard. I’d recommend Matt to any teacher looking to get children interested in poetry”
Warwick Road Primary School, Dewsbury
“KS2 had a fantastic day with Matt: he really encouraged them to dig deep to discover how they could use what they know and their life experiences to form some remarkable poetry.”
North Ormesby Primary Academy, Middlesbrough
“I never liked poetry before; but now I love it”
Y8 pupil, Cornelius Vermuyden School, Canvey Island