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3 Festivals for 2024


‘Small City, Big Heart’ is all about Derby, with poems from Bemrose school, stories from Derby College Lexis students and songs from Pear Tree Junior.

One of the Derby College Lexis students writing for our programme in 2018 ended her piece by saying ‘Derby is a small city, but it has a big heart’, and this became both the title and theme for our 2018 book, ‘Small City, Big Heart’. Year 7 pupils from Bemrose school had workshops with the performance poet Jess Green, writing poems about their lives and experiences in the city. Derby College Lexis students – 16 to 18 year old new arrivals and refugees learning English at the College – wrote about arriving in the City from their home countries – the cold, the disorientation and then the adaptation and friendships they found at the College. And Year 5’s from Pear Tree Junior explored the city with story-teller and author Richard O’Neill and wrote songs about their experience.

Nothing ever happens in Derby, that’s what people say, But we know the truth, you can have fun everyday

The book can be read on-line below. Unfortunately, due to low stocks, it is not available to buy.

Individual Readings

Lexis students read their stories from Small City, Big Heart.

Adam Alhafez Death Boats to Derby

Adam Alhafez: Death Boats to Derby

Sanjali Panwar Derby Has Developed My Dream

Sanjali Panwar: Derby Has Developed My Dream

Simon Tesfay My Experiences in Derby

Simon Tesfay: My Experiences in Derby

Victoria Curca A New Beginning

Victoria Curca: A New Beginning

Sukhmander Sidhu Stepping into Derby

Sukhmander Sidhu: Stepping into Derby

Senay Guzai Derby Has Been My City of Hope

Senay Guzai: Derby Has Been My City of Hope