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Canadian Poet Bringing Migrant Experiences to Teesside Pupils

Tour dates are included in this release. If you are interested in an interview with Theresa Munoz or would like a reporter or photographer to attend one of the events please contact: [email protected] or 0131 524 0175.

Poet Theresa Munoz will visit secondary schools in Teesside between 3 and 7 July in a series of pupil-focused sessions exploring ideas of belonging and identity, through her own experiences of migration and making human connections in a digital age.

The special events, funded by Scottish Friendly and run by Scottish Book Trust, are being held in Teesside for the first time, with the help of library services across the Tees Valley including Stockton, Middlesbrough, Hartlepool and Darlington, who also organised the recent Crossing the Tees Book Festival.

Theresa was born in Vancouver but moved to the UK 10 years ago and lives in Edinburgh. Her debut collection of poetry, Settle, 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.

Her events on this tour of Teesside schools will see Theresa discuss her poetry collection and focus on how her experiences inform her work.

Migration, and how Theresa has adapted her Filipino-Canadian culture to her adoptive Scottish home, is a key theme. Linked to this is the impact of technology, specifically the digital profiles most people now have and the effect these social media personas have on our feelings of identity, the nature of reality and relationships.

The tour covers 10 schools in Middlesbrough, Stockton, Hartlepool, Darlington and Cleveland. Theresa will give an illustrated talk about how she became a writer, her move from Canada to the UK, as well as discussing her poems. The pupils will also take part in written exercises around the themes.

Commenting on the tour, Theresa said:

I am extremely excited to be part of the Scottish Friendly Children’s Book Tour. I look forward to creating and exploring how poetry works with bright young minds in 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.

Commenting on Theresa’s tour, David Strain, Scottish Friendly’s Community Manager said:

Scottish Friendly is excited about bringing the Scottish Friendly Children’s Book Tour to Teesside for the very first time. We’re doubly excited to be hosting Theresa Munoz on this tour. Seeing and hearing Theresa in person on her poetry involving themes of travel and home will make for a spell-binding impression on pupils across Teesside.

Scottish Friendly has sponsored the programme for the past 19 years, touring some of the finest children’s authors and illustrators including former Children’s Laureate Chris Riddell, Malorie Blackman, Michael Rosen, Jacqueline Wilson, Melvin Burgess, Steve Cole, Michael Morpurgo and Sophie McKenzie.

Marc Lambert, Chief Executive at Scottish Book Trust, which is organising the tour, added:

We are really looking forward to visiting schools in Teesside this July with Theresa Munoz. The tour is a great opportunity for pupils to meet a poet writing about experiences of migration and identity, and hear about her creative process.

Her events are sure to be interesting and thought provoking for pupils, as well as inspiring them to create their own verse and write about their own experiences.

Tour dates and times for media and photographers to attend are below. Please RSVP to [email protected] or call 0131 524 0175.

Monday 3 July

AM: Y6 pupils from Springfield Primary (part of Education Village Academy Trust), DL1 2AN

PM: Our Lady & St Bede Academy, TS18 0QH

Tuesday 4 July

AM: Northfield School & Sports College, TS22 5EG

PM: Longfield Academy, DL3 0HT

Wednesday 5 July

AM: Ian Ramsay Church of England Academy, TS19 7AJ

PM: Nunthorpe Academy, TS7 0LA

Thursday 6 July

AM: The Grangefield Academy, TS18 4LE

PM: Haughton Academy (part of Education Village Academy Trust), DL1 2AN

Friday 7 July

AM: St Michael’s Catholic Academy, TS23 3DX

PM: Outwood Academy Bishopgarth, TS19 8TF


Download a PDF of this press release here

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