National Poetry Day, 8th October

Posted: 8th October 2015

The Priory Players and The Minister of Light

National Poetry Day and its theme of Light is being celebrated at St Augustine’s Priory.  We recently welcomed poet Mona Arshi, winner last week of the Forward Arts Foundation Prize for Best First Collection for her collection of poetry, ‘Small Hands’, to speak at a school Assembly.


Ms Brown, Head of Drama, writes:

‘We were delighted to welcome guest speaker Mona Arshi to assembly on Monday.  Mona Arshi is a mother of two girls in the Junior school and is a professional poet.  Her recent collection of poems, ‘Small Hands’, has just won The Forward Prize for Best First Collection.  Ms Arshi was invited to introduce National Poetry Day, which is on Thursday 8th October, and her poem, ‘The Minister of Light’, commissioned for by the Forward Arts Foundation especially for the event.

Ms Arshi explained to the assembly her process of writing a poem and the inspiration for her work, which included bioluminescence and Harry Potter.  She had had the brilliant idea of making a film of the poem featuring some St Augustine’s Priory girls and the film was shown at Assembly.  It is now available to view on the National Poetry Day website, You Tube, and on our school website.


After this great presentation, Lida Ghanadian, Upper VI, Production Manager of The Priory Players, the new Sixth Form theatre company, went on to invite everyone to the official opening of the outdoor stage here in the meadow on Thursday evening which will celebrate National Poetry Day with a selection of scenes and poems based on the theme of Light, the theme for this year’s National Poetry Day.  Some Upper IV girls then went on to perform the poem ‘Playing with Stars’ by Brain Moses, directed by Claudia Bergin, Lower VI, and then Shivali Sharma, Upper VI, rounded off the Assembly with a beautiful recitation of A Life in Dreams by Jacob San-La Rose.’

The Priory Players

Alexia Kirov, Upper VI, elaborates on The Priory Players:

‘The Priory Players is the brand new theatre company run by the St Augustine’s Priory Sixth Form. We have been rehearsing relentlessly since the beginning of term with students from across the school, and cannot wait to show students, parents, friends and family what we have been working on. On Thursday 8th October, National Poetry Day, we will be showcasing our talents at the opening of the outdoor stage in the meadow.  All of our performances will be centred around ‘Light’, in keeping with the theme of National Poetry Day.  However, whilst there will be something for the poets among you, thespians and musicians, fear not, as there will be drama and music for you to also enjoy. Refreshments will be available throughout the evening, including Indian food, popcorn and drinks.‘

If you would like to see the film of Mona Arshi’s poem, ‘The Minister of Light’, you can view it on the National Poetry Day website, You Tube, and on our school website.  The Forward Arts Foundation website is at

Also, at our Open Day on Saturday 10th October visitors will also be able to take part in a poetry workshop, where ‘The Minister of Light’ film will be available to view.

To find out details of our Open Day and view ‘The Minister of Light’ please go to our website at


Categories: Whole School