Full on: four days in WA primary schools

This is my first post for a long time. Alright, probably ever. No worries, I don’t expect anyone to read it. But I just received a lovely email from Diane Idle who teaches at Churchlands Primary School in Perth and I wanted to share her words. I did two days of poetry workshops at Churchlands including a poetry performance for 300 Yr 2-6 kids. It’s a terrific school and Diane has organised a mini writer’s festival there for the last couple of years. I was lucky enough to get a gig, the only children’s author from ‘Over East’ and though they worked me extremely hard, I had a ball. The more kids I can connect with around poetry the better. That’s really why I’m writing poetry for kids, though as my wife says I’m probably also writing it because I’m still a bit of a kid myself. Be that as it may, it’s a special thrill when the words go out and the response comes back: yeah, we want more! I also did two days at another excellent school, Wembley Independent Primary which has 820 kids…now that’s big. I maybe saw half of them and admit by the end of my time there I was a bit punch drunk. But it was all worth it and especially when Les, the Principal, after I’d done a poetry performance in their undercover arena said ‘See that boy? He’s the most disengaged child in the school and he’s been lapping up your poetry.’ Now that makes me happy! Anyway, here’s what Diane Idle (Churchlands primary) had to say: ‘Harry! It was a sight to behold in the undercover arena…300 children glued to your every word. the poetry captivated them and I hope catapulted them out onto their own poetry journey….there has been SUPER feedback. Families discussing poetry over dinner, arguing over the best poem!!! A year 3 girl who is usually too shy to say anything, but went up to you and asked for her hat to be signed. her Dad was overwhelmed. She has announced that she loves poetry and will write a poem about her family. It just goes on and on…’ So that’s a bit of a warm glow to bask in as nights turn a little colder here on the Southern Tablelands!

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