January 6, 2016
Phaedra, Year 9, Century Park Campus
In November we had a visit from a rather interesting guest speaker, Nick Toczek, poet, writer, musician, and magician. However, Mr Toczek’s books were not the only bestsellers; his unique performance at YCIS was equally appreciated!
Born in Shipley and raised in Bradford, this English quadruple threat started his own poetry magazine, The Little Word Machine, at 22, with his poems and articles making it into two collections of The Sunday Times. A largely successful music career followed, and to top it all off, Mr Toczek has been hosting his Bradford Community Broadcasting show, InTOCZEKated, since 1991. He has published over 25 books, both fiction and non-fiction, and has sold millions of copies of his books worldwide.
As for his presentation at our school, he entered the cafeteria with gusto. Then, he proceeded to hook his many listeners by reciting a very animated poem about zombies. Next, the author described a football-crazy family in a hilarious performance poem. Card tricks, disappearing objects, and timeless jokes were scattered throughout the show. A chilling poem about the life and lair of a fearsome dragon concluded the recital portion of the performance, which left me wondering whether or not I was hearing powerful wing beats in the distance.
Finally, the author conducted a small poetry workshop during which we had to write a poem with an “eet” rhyme. What astonished me was how Mr Toczek was able to crank out three-dozen “eet” rhymes in less than five minutes, which no one I know would be able to do.
But I have to say, the star of the show was none other than Hamilton. Who is Hamilton you ask? Why, he is the planets sassiest puppet dog. With his tousled grey fur, incredible fashion sense, and endearing personality, Mr Toczek’s puppet, Hamilton, definitely stole our hearts with his shenanigans and mischievous pranks.
Overall, I would love to see and read more from Nick Toczek, as he is one of the most engaging and talented authors I’ve encountered, and we very much enjoyed his visit to YCIS!