Dorothea Mackellar Poetry Award Winners

For Poetry Friday, I give you the Awards Presentation Ceremony for the Dorothea Mackellar Poetry Awards, streamed from Gunnedah this morning. What a rich resource this is, for poetry lovers, educators and proud Aussies. I highly recommend it! As much as I would have loved to be in Gunnedah today for a live presentation ceremony, I cannot regret this fantastic video.

It was an honour and a privilege to be the Primary Judge for 2019/2020. And to see these young poets presenting their work so creatively and professionally.

Congratulations to all involved!

Carol Varsalona is hosting the Poetry Friday roundup at https://beyondliteracylink.blogspot.com. Thanks, Carol. 🙃

Have a fabulous weekend!

Poetry Swap – Tricia Stohr-Hunt

Hi all. I’m popping back in to share another poetry treasure that arrived in my inbox, this from Tricia Stohr-Hunt, who wasn’t familiar with the work of Australian poets, and in reading around discovered my favourite, ‘My Country’, by Dorothea Mackellar. Tricia had planned to write a golden shovel – but instead crafted this wonderful poem, using lines from the first stanza of Dorothea’s poem. Continue reading

Poetry Pep-Ups

Oh my. What a busy week of poetry it has been! Though I’ve thought many nights that I don’t have the focus or the creativity for #PoeTryHope – somehow every night, some little moment of joy (or silliness) works its way into words. I’m posting them on Instagram – but here is a quick screengrab of where it’s at at this moment. There may have been a blooper this week – that my sister called me on.🤭

Also this week, the delightful Laura Shovan’s #WaterPoetryProject kicked off – across all platforms. So I’ve been writing a poem-a-day for this, too and sharing them on Twitter. Find them and more at #WaterPoemProject.

I’m pretty sure it’s the poetry – the poetry community – that has kept me grounded in this most unsettling time!

I’ve been adding new writing projects to my site for kids to access, either self-directed, or as school-based activities. The most recent addition is the ‘Progressive Stories‘ tab – from activities I’ve previously run online as a part of the Curtis Coast Literary Carnivale. You can find these in the drop down tab, under Kids’ Stuff. I’ve been delighted to see the increased traffic on my blog, indicating that schools around the world have been accessing activities over recent weeks. It makes if feel like I’ve contributing in a positive way. Guessing there’s lots here who know that feeling! I’m working on more activities to add over the coming week.

More information; https://www.dorothea.com.au

Speaking of kids and poetry… For the Aussies; the Dorothea Mackellar Poetry Awards is open. I’m thrilled to be judging this again. Kids, this is the perfect time to get your entries ready! You can enter as individuals, or as a part of your school – so if you have questions, ask your parents and/or your teachers. I am so looking forward to reading lots of thoughtful, joyous, wonderful words!

I’m sure my Poetry Friday friends will have lots of great posts for you to read – so click across to the lovely Tabatha’s blog where you will find the round-up. Spend some time with the PoetryFriday crew – maybe chime in with a comment or poem of your own. (Or not. Either is fine. 🙂 ) But please do take a breath, pause and let poetry take you places.

And stay home!

Gunnedah to Gayndah

This is a quick post to share some pics from my trip to Gunnedah last week, for the Dorothea Mackellar Poetry Awards Presentation Ceremony. I know many of my Poetry Friday friends are keen to see the winning poems – and if you click across to Dorothea Mackellar Poetry Award Winners (my previous post), not only will you see the poems, but you’ll meet the amazing poets, too! For today – pics of Gunnedah! Thank-you to Laura from Writing the World for Kids for hosting our Poetry Friday round-up this week.

I arrived Wednesday evening, to run poetry workshops on Thursday for children from Gunnedah and surrounds. (There are so many sites and towns with delightful names, including the nearby Boggabri.) Thursday afternoon, award winners and the secondary judge (Meredith Costain) arrived – though there were some hiccups with delayed flights, lost luggage and a broken-down bus… But we still managed to squeeze in a whistle-stop tour of Gunnedah, which is a town that has so much to offer tourists! Two lovely lookouts – with amazing vistas. (Pensioners Hill also includes stone carvings which are impressive.) I tried twice for a pic with Dorothea on her horse, opposite the Mackellar Centre but alas, Thursday evening I was too rushed, and Friday morning, the wind was gusting… (I look a fright!) I’ll have to go back again to try a third time for a better pic. (Sentiment runs strong on this!) But you can spot Dorothea on horseback in the collage below. Continue reading

Dorothea Mackellar Poetry Award Winners

Last Friday I was in Gunnedah for the prestigious Dorothea Mackellar Poetry Awards Presentation Ceremony. It was an honour to be asked to judge the Primary category – and a joy to meet and mix with committee and community members, award winners, and their families. I am so proud of these amazing kids, and I’m thrilled to be able to share the winning poems and poets with you. (Shared with permission.) Continue reading

Is There Anybody There?

I’m rather thrilled to be asked to judge the Primary category of the 2019 Dorothea Mackellar Poetry Awards. As a teacher, I used these awards to give students a real audience. I know what a big deal these awards are in the classroom! To be on the other side (and expecting to read thousands of students poems) is exciting – and a wee-bit daunting.

But mostly, it’s a huge honour – because of course, Dorothea Mackellar’s ‘My Country‘ has been burnt into my mind since first learning those impassioned words. (My overseas readers, if you haven’t read it, then you must, here.) ‘Waltzing Matilda’ is all well and good – but if we were ever to talk about a new, Australian anthem? Look no further than ‘My Country’!

It inspired my Australia Day golden shovel (above left) during #MoPoetry2019 – using the strike line from the final stanza of ‘My Country’’, Dorothea Mackellar’s iconic poem, above right.

If you’re a classroom teacher and want a poetry form to kickstart kids writing, the golden shovel is a great form to try!

HOW TO:

  1. Find a strike line (any length) from an existing poem and attribute it.
  2. Put each word from the strike line at the end of individual lines in your poem… If your strike line has 4 words, your poem has four lines. (The strike line in my poem is written are in bold. )
  3. Now fill in the gaps to make your poem. Lines can be any length.

See also Seeds of Hope for another example of a golden shovel.

Intrigued? You might enjoy learning more about Dorothea, with this YouTube, by Libby Hathorn.

Today’s Poetry Friday is hosted by Irene Latham, creator of the Progressive Poem I took part in earlier in the month. (You can catch up with the poem as it builds at the links below.) Thanks, Irene, for hosting today (during your month of happy poems!) and for sharing the Progressive Poem with the world. 🙂

The Kidlitosphere Progressive Poem – April 2019

2 Kat @ Kathryn Apel
3 Kimberly @ KimberlyHutmacherWrites
4 Jone @ DeoWriter
5 Linda @ TeacherDance
6 Tara @ Going to Walden
8 Mary Lee @ A Year of Reading
9 Rebecca @ Rebecca Herzog
10 Janet F. @ Live Your Poem
12 Margaret @ Reflections on the Teche
13 Doraine @ Dori Reads
17 Amy @ The Poem Farm
18 Linda @A Word Edgewise
20 Buffy @ Buffy’s Blog
21 Michelle @ Michelle Kogan
22 Catherine @ Reading to the Core
23 Penny @ a penny and her jots
25 Jan @ Bookseestudio
26 Linda @ Write Time
27 Sheila @ Sheila Renfro
29 Irene @ Live Your Poem
30 Donna @ Mainely Write