March saw a string of special literary guests visiting Dulwich College Beijing.
First, UK and European Slam Champion, Sara Hirsch, spent three days running workshops and doing performances for students from Early Years to Junior School to Senior School. Her poems struck a chord with all year groups, with students enjoying making their own slam poems.
After the success of the slam poet, we welcomed British international award-winning author Paul French, who wrote the acclaimed Midnight in Peking, City of Devils and Destination Shanghai. Mr French spoke to Senior School students and teachers about the techniques involved in writing creative non-fiction with a particular emphasis on China. Students were given a subtle history lesson via a true story of an unresolved murder of a young woman in Beijing in the 1930s. Totally engaging, the presentation was enjoyed by both students and staff.
Then Early Years were delighted to meet Antoinette Portis, author of the New York Times Best Illustrated Children’s Book, Not a Box. She read through stories and encouraged the children to have a go at drawing a scene.
Junior School also received their own visiting bestselling author, Sarah Brennan. Ms Brennan’s books are all set in different time periods during Chinese history and centred around one of the Chinese zodiac signs. Year 5 enjoyed a story about Desmond Dog and his adventures in Aberdeen, Hong Kong. It was great to hear Ms Brennan’s knowledge about China and its history through storytelling. Everyone enjoyed this fascinating experience.