National Poetry Celebration Day

"This country must celebrate its incredible cultural heritage. We are the country of Chaucer, Shakespeare, Byron, Keats, The Beatles, The Stones, Led Zeppelin even Mr Bean, all great communicators."

York-based Miles, who is an author, poet, broadcaster, band musician, teacher and former prison chaplain, spent the day with King's Year 7 pupils, first getting them to read contemporary and classical poetry and then helping them to start their own magnum opus.

He explained: "I struggled to communicate when I was younger. It was all very painful, slow and arduous, so I want children to have the confidence to express themselves."

"I don't think you can just give a child a blank piece of paper. You need to give them some ammunition, an opening line; something they can work with. You want them to engage with their senses. Tell them it’s the middle of night and then ask them to describe what they can hear, see, feel, smell and touch. It's important to engage their sensory perception."

Miles wants this generation to rise above the constant white noise of social media and reboot their own original thinking. "Perhaps I am naïve, but I feel there will be a creative backlash against Twitter, Facebook et al, and the social media generation will again rise as their own original and creative minds."

King's Librarian Sarah Wilcock, who organised King's celebration of National Poetry Day, said: "It was wonderful to welcome Miles to King’s, after a year when we have been unable to have visitors.

"He gave the pupils a fantastic whistle-stop tour through a wide variety of different poetry and really got them thinking about what each poem means. They used this insight in their own poetry writing and came up with some powerful poems which we will publish in our school creative writing magazine ‘Tapestry’."