Today I’m going out to Northland to run a poetry for 15-19 year olds, titled “Tackling Poetry”.

I’ve run one poetry workshop before, and it was horrendous. The kids who were there were forced to be there as part of the school’s compulsory extra-curricular program at the end of semester. The kids asked me if I was “a real teacher?” and why I have so many piercings, and did they hurt, and do I think I’m cool because of them? A bunch of kids “needed to go to the toilet” and never came back. One kid somehow got me to do all his writing for him.

On the other hand, there were some really talented young writers in that group. One of the girls came up with the amazing metaphor of her friend being “a balloon you want to hold forever”. Isn’t that lovely? It’s stuck with me over a year later.

The workshop I’m holding today is through Express Media, so I’ll have some wonderful back-up support there. Also, it’s voluntary – the kids who show up want to be there. And this time I’m bringing lots of sweet bribes. And I’ve been taught lots of handy tips and tricks for crowd control and distractions.

But I’m still feeling pretty nervous about the whole thing… So wish me luck!