Moqapi Selassie
Birmingham Central Library Adult Learners' Week


Adult Learners' Week is a national celebration of learning opportunities for adults, which has developed into a significant opportunity to communicate with many hundreds of thousands of adults who are involved in various forms of learning. Birmingham's Adult Learners' Week incorporated the following activities:

  • Poetry Writing Group Taster Sessions - to generate interest in the writing of poetry
  • Poetry Reading Group Taster Sessions - to generate interest in the reading of poetry
  • Poetry Information Sessions - targeted at Adult Education staff to encourage long-term interest and understanding of poetry
  • Poetry Readings - Selassie performed short selections of poetry at significant moments, such as the presentation of Burmingham's Adult Learner Week Awards, and at Council committees.


Poetry Places I luv em!!

The Birmingham City Council Poetry Place took place from the 13th May to the 15th June 1999. The aim of the Poetry Place was to promote the Council's "Adult Learners Week", which was held from the 17th to the 2lst May, and to promote Adult Learning in general.

I was given the title of "Adult Learner Week Poet" - my role was to perform at a number of events throughout Birmingham. I was also expected to write a poem to do with the theme of Adult Education. At the time of agreeing to do the Poetry Place there wasn't a timetable of events. I was to be contacted, given a contact name and they would let me know the finer details, that is, the venue, type of event, and so on.

Overall, I appeared at 11 events. These events consisted of Adult Writing Classes, Award Ceremonies, a Photo-shoot and a radio interview. They took place in different venues in Birmingham. I performed some of my poetry, answered questions on my poetry, dub poetry, poetry in general, and carried out some workshops.

Some of the work produced at these workshops were brilliantly witty. In fact at one of the classes the tutor was so impressed by the poetry produced by her "class" that they proposed to set up a publication to get them published. After one event, I was interviewed by a local college radio station about my role as Adult Learner's Week Poet.

With regards to the poems. "Confidence" seemed to be the unofficial anthem of the Poetry Place, whereas the poem "Life Long Learning" is the poem that I wrote after I had to encourage a woman to keep on attending literacy classes with these words "You're never too old to learn"!


Young Poets Network