Canadian Poet Brings Migrant Experiences to Teesside Pupils

Pupils at Northfield School and Sports College using poetry stones as starting points for writing
Category: Press Releases

You can follow the activity from schools on the tour by searching #Munozontour on Twitter

Poet Theresa Munoz visited 10 secondary schools in Teesside last week as part of the Scottish Friendly Children’s Book Tour. It was the first time that the tour visited Teesside, and the poet ran a series of pupil-focused sessions with Grangefield Academy, Northfield School & Sports College, St Michael’s Catholic Academy, Haughton Academy and others.

The tour was sponsored by Scottish Friendly Assurance and organised by Scottish Book Trust. Library services across the Tees Valley including Stockton, Middlesbrough, Hartlepool and Darlington helped to organise the visits.

Energetic and full of creativity, Theresa’s sessions explored ideas of belonging and identity, through her own experiences of migration and making human connections in a digital age. The poet, who was born in Vancouver and now lives in Edinburgh, recently released her debut collection of poetry, Settle. It was shortlisted for the Melita Hume Poetry Prize and her work has been published in various journals including The Poetry Review, Scottish Review of Books, The Scotsman, and Canadian Literature.

Theresa has a PhD in Scottish Literature from the University of Glasgow where she was an Overseas Research Scholar. She is currently Research Associate at the Newcastle Centre for Literary Arts at Newcastle University. 

Commenting on the tour, Theresa said:

"I had an excellent time touring the schools of Teesside in the Scottish Friendly Children's Book Tour. I met some bright and talented young poets and I also met some wonderful teachers who really support their students' endeavours. Many thanks to the Scottish Book Trust and Scottish Friendly for the amazing opportunity!"

David Strain, Scottish Friendly’s Community Manager said:

"Theresa really fired the enthusiasm of Teesside pupils on this tour by inspiring them to write some poetry themselves and the results of this were truly promising.  Hopefully it won’t be too long till the tour returns to Teesside!"

The tour is sponsored by Scottish Friendly Assurance and organised by Scottish Book Trust. Every year schools in two local authorities in England receive visits from Scottish-based authors to inspire a love of reading, writing and illustration. The tour visits both primary and secondary schools and has enthralled over 90,000 children since it began in 1998.

Claire Keene, teacher of Year 7 at The Grangefield Academy, said: "A group of our Year 7 pupils were lucky enough to take part in a poetry workshop run by Theresa Munoz. The students then had the opportunity to create their own poems which were truly fantastic! The students found her work both relatable and funny, and jumped at the chance to purchase an autographed copy of her book at the end."

Pupils from Haughton Academy said:

"Meeting Theresa was very interesting because she told us about her life story and helped us to write some poems. She has given me inspiration to write some poems of my own."  Jessica, age 12

"I am definitely going to read more poems after meeting Theresa." Fern, age 12

Notes to Editors

For media enquiries, interviews and images, please contact Keara Donnachie, Press Officer, on Keara.Donnachie@scottishbooktrust.com or 0131 524 0184.

After every tour, Scottish Book Trust’s website features case studies and resources to show the impact of the tour on the pupils we visit: www.scottishbooktrust.com

About the Scottish Friendly Children’s Book Tour

The Scottish Friendly Children’s Book Tour, organised by Scottish Book Trust, has been running for 19 fruitful years.  It tours throughout Scotland’s urban, rural and remote communities and visits every single Scottish local authority on a three-year cycle. Every year the tour also brings the best writers living and working in Scotland to England, to inspire pupils. The tour visits both primary and secondary schools and has enthralled over 90,000 children since it began in 1998.

About Scottish Friendly Assurance

Scottish Friendly Assurance is a progressive and modern financial services group.  It provides investors and their families with a wide range of affordable investments. Scottish Friendly is very engaged in the community and works with Scottish Book Trust to provide fresh and exciting content on their website: https://www.scottishfriendly.co.uk

About Scottish Book Trust

Scottish Book Trust is a national charity changing lives through reading and writing. We inspire and support the people of Scotland to read and write for pleasure.

  • We give free books to every child in Scotland to ensure families of all backgrounds can share the joy of books at home.
  • We work with teachers to inspire children to develop a love of reading, creating innovative classrooms activities, book awards and author events programme.
  • We support Scotland’s diverse writing community with our training, awards and writing opportunities.
  • We fund a range of author events for the public to enjoy and promote Scottish writing to people worldwide.
  • We work for a Scotland where everyone has an equal opportunity to thrive through literacy.

Find out more about us online at:

www.scottishbooktrust.com   @scottishbktrust   www.facebook.com/scottishbktrust