VIVA LA POETRY REVOLUTION!

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Today I have sent the following email to numerous children’s poets and poetry lovers:

‘Through the new blog site, Australian Children’s Poetry (which now has over 8,500 hits), I am trying to revitalise poetry in Australia, starting with poetry in schools. You might have read https://australianchildrenspoetry.com.au/articles/why-are-booksellers-afraid-of-childrens-poetry/ and the responses from poet Stephen Whiteside and myself, Di Bates.

Here’s a thought: if all of us with a love of and connection to Australian children’s poetry united, we might just put poetry and Australian children, teachers, publishers and booksellers on the same page. United, we can be a powerful force! We can bring poetry into schools and into bookshops. We can exert pressure on organisations such as the CBCA to fund prizes, competitions and/or otherwise promote poetry.

So, what I’m asking you today is for you to consider approaching school/s to offer to present a poetry reading. Have you done this before? Why not now? Then, send an article to me at dibates@outlook.com about your experience and the responses from children and teachers.

Your articles will be posted on the Australian Children’s Poetry blog site and then the CBCA and Australian children’s publishers will be notified that there is the beginning of a groundswell…

Am I being too optimistic? What do you think? Do you want to be part of the Poetry Revolution?’

Subsequent to sending this email, I’ve had an undertaking from our Children’s Laureate Jackie French that she would blog it on her website www.childrenslaureate.org.au and post it in her newsletter. (Thanks, wonderful Jackie!)

Poet and verse novelist Sherryl Clark wrote that she is undertaking a May Gibbs residency in Brisbane in May, part of which is presenting workshops in schools. Initially, when Sherryl suggested poetry workshops, the State Library thought that maybe there wouldn’t be enough interest and that she should offer story writing as well. Sherryl recently received a draft schedule and four of the five schools requested poetry!

You don’t have to be a poet to present a poetry reading! If you are keen to promote poetry in schools, find a half hours’ worth of poems (preferably Australian) that you think children would love to hear recited, and then contact your local school and offer to do a reading.

Become a part of the Australian children’s poetry revolution!

Poem of the Day

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Naked Nonsense: Guundie’s Ridiculous Rhymes

 

  The Edible Swarm

 

By my door are massive trees,

swinging in a storm,

dropping lots of peas

a gigantic swarm.

It comes in – the peas have keys –

and I squash them just like fleas,

get them on the stove to warm,

put them on a plate,

and eat dinner, thanks to fate!

 

Guundie Kuchling, born in Salzburg, gained her Master of Fine Arts in Vienna and arrived in Australia in 1987 with her husband Gerald, a world turtle expert.

Guundie has published 11 picture books and exhibits widely: oil paintings, water colours, lino prints, and sculptures. Her interests include throat singing, native wildlife, ear rings, growing vegetables, dry felting, labyrinths, and encouraging others to live creatively.

 

Friday Update

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Here are this week’s updates:

 

Competitions:

The Ipswich Poetry Feast website has now released details on the 2014 International Poetry Writing Competition.

The Competition Opening Date: Sunday 6 April 2014; Closing date  is Fri 1 August 2014 at 5.00 p.m.

Please click our Competitions  page for the updated details.

Don’t forget to check our  competition page for end of April deadline submissions.

 

Reviews:

Poetry Book Review – Verses for Children by various poets (Pine Street Poets, 2013)

To view, please click on the Review page.

 

That’s it for this week.

Friday update

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Just advising you of new information and links that have been added to the site pages this week.

Articles:

 

Competitions:

Please remember to check the  Competitions page for ‘fast approaching’ deadlines.

New competitions have been added:

  • Children’s Poetry Anthology on Food and Agriculture – submission deadline:  14 June  2014
  • Peace Train Poetry Festival – submission deadline 30 June 2014

To view all the competitions just click on the ‘Competitions’ title to view listings on the one page. Competitions are listed in order of their deadline date.

 

Interviews:

If you are interested in an interview with the well-known ‘peace poet’, Professor Ada Aharoni, click on the interview link here: https://australianchildrenspoetry.com.au/interviews/peace-poet-ada-aharoni/

 

Links:

New links have been added here: https://australianchildrenspoetry.com.au/links/new-links/

 

Poets A-Z:

Two poet bios have been added to our growing list of talented Australian poets.

All listed poets can be viewed here or via the drop down menu (Poets A-Z).

 

That’s it for this week’s updates.

 

Greetings and Welcome

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Balloons-AnimatedGreetings and welcome to all poetry lovers visiting this brand new site!

Within two days of the Australian Children’s Poetry site going up, there were well over 2,000 hits, a fair indication of the interest nationally and internationally in Australian children’s poets and their poetry.

Thanks so much to all of you who have left congratulatory comments and offers of future support. There’s more to come, so remember to keep popping over, and do spread the word, please. (Don’t forget to contribute poems, articles, links, reviews and interviews, as well.)

The inspiration for creating the blog came about seven years ago when I was compiling Australian children’s poems for an anthology. While trying to track down poets’ contact details (to ask for permission and to offer payment), I soon found that most Australian children’s poets do not have an online presence. Why isn’t there a dedicated site, I asked myself when organisations such as the National Library of Australia were unable to locate one.

Believing that it if it’s got to be, it’s up to me, I began exploring the options for a website. I stopped short at a quote of $25,000 to build one. Then I found Helen Ross, a children’s author, who agreed to create a blog for far less money. Thank you, Helen! (When my funding application is approved, I will let the world know which organisation has given its much welcomed support.)

Meanwhile, the anthology I’d compiled was (finally) contracted, and Our Home is Dirt by Sea will be published by Walker Books Australia in 2015. Thank you, Sarah Foster, one of the few Australian publishers who give ongoing support to publishing children’s poetry.

I asked all contributing poets if they would like to leave their contact details with their biographies so that anthologists, festival, conference organisers and schools could apply to use their poems and/or to invite the poets to speak publicly, and to present poetry readings. I also asked them to provide up to three poems each to give a sample of their talents.

Poetry is a big deal in the UK where it is common for children’s poets to strut their stuff in schools, etc. And, too, although I don’t have statistics to support my claim, I believe there are more poetry collections and anthologies published there each year than here in Australia.

My aim is to put Australian children’s poetry on every map there is. Please help spread the word. And in the meantime, enjoy what’s on offer here and leave your comments. Thanks!

Dianne (Di) Bates

11/3/14