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Having been invited as a guest speaker in a writer’s festival run by Banksia Park International High School to inspire students to write, this was my first school talk and I must admit, I thoroughly enjoyed it!

Mine was the first session in the program after its official opening on Wednesday, with other sessions by a journalist and author taking place next week.  The school is in a part of Adelaide I’d never visited before and Marika, the English Coordinator who’d contacted me, led me to the Resource Centre where a wonderful space has been created for the festival.

About 15 students attended in their lunch break, ranging from 12 to 18 years old, who listened while I shared how I’d started writing, a little about the process I follow, some of my poems, finishing with a few hints and tips for those interested in pursuing poetry.

I asked those who write poetry what they like about it, to which one young boy replied “because I’m creating something”, supporting the idea that the poem is a living, breathing thing.  One girl asked what sort of poetry I write, haiku, sonnet, etc. I replied “free form” – I prefer to write without constraint, to let the poem take the shape it wants, which prompted Marika to make a note to talk to the other teachers about letting the students write more poetry without having to adhere to a set of rules.

The school purchased a few copies of my chapbooks for their library and a couple of students took my contact details, so I’m hoping they’ll be in touch. Events like these are a brilliant way to engage the next generation in writing and provide some insight into taking the next step in their chosen craft.  Fingers crossed they do  😊

Delighted to have a poem here, a thought-provoking collection pulled together by Nina Lewis, the new Worcestershire Poet Laureate

https://worcestershirepoetlaureateninalewis.wordpress.com/2017/06/20/world-refugee-day-in-poetry/

I received my copies recently, and I’m thrilled to be sharing the pages with so many amazing poets and their poems!

Edited by Rachel Piercey and Emma Wright, this anthology is one of many exquisitely produced books from The Emma Press.  Founded by Emma and based in Birmingham, UK, this is an award-winning press, scooping the Publishers’ Awards at the Michael Marks Awards for Poetry Pamphlets in 2016.  What I particularly love about The Emma Press are their themed submission calls on a variety of topics to inspire and create those all-important words. Their motto is “small press, big dreams”, which they make true and then some.

Contributors to this anthology include Carole Bromley, Angela Kirby, Gill McEvoy and Anna Woodford, alongside brilliant new voices, sharing poems about all types of aunties:

the trail-blazing, advice-giving, feast-cooking, fast-chatting, music-loving, gift-giving, high-kicking

so eloquently summed up by Rachel in the introduction. It’s a collection to make you smile.

And a copy is winging its way across the miles to my beautiful nephew as we speak, so he can read the poem about him penned by his auntie 😊