I was recently asked by an old teacher of mine to return to my high school for a day early in December and run a poetry workshop as an end-of-year activity. I thought about it for a while – 16 year olds can be harsh. How do you teach poetry? What if they don’t buy my “I-know-about-writing” act?

Eventually I accepted though.

Uni is finished for the semester. I’m waiting on a call or letter from RMIT, started this new job, writing… So my spare time now is all about this poetry workshop.

I think the best way to do it is by going through a few conventions/techniques, and attaching an example and an exercise to each. The session only goes for 90 minutes so I can’t get too far into things, but they’re young’uns so that’s probably good.

What I’m struggling with is what to use as examples. These kids are 16, I don’t remember what poetry I studied (if any) at that age. I’m thinking about using some Robert Adamson stuff as an example of the use of metaphor, he does that ridiculously well. Other than this, I’m a bit lost as to what to use.

So if anyone reading this here fine blog remembers what they studied in the way of poetry at the age of 16, please oh please comment and let me know. I’d really appreciate some direction, I’d hate to confuse these kids with non-accessible stuff and scare them off writing, or discussing it with the class…