Illuminations featured at Panacea Poets

A huge thank you to the Queensland Poetry Festival team for the invitation to be part of Panacea Poets.

In Panacea Poets, Queensland Poetry Festival administers a twice-weekly booster of short readings from wonderful poets via their youtube channel.

QPF will deliver these soothing doses of poets-in-iso indefinitely.

It is such a great honour to be part of a project to apply the bird of poetry to the experience of the Pandemic, and to maybe inspire listeners to draw on their strengths and optimism.

So many esteemed and inspiring poets – Kirli Saunders, Stuart Barnes, Charmaine Papertalk Green to name just a few, do check out the playlist! I’ll share a few of my faves from time to time!

Here is my reading!

On the Eve!

After months of mostly zoom meetings, a couple of weeks ago we gathered in a cafe to reflect upon and celebrate that we are about to host a national conference in Brisbane – in person.

We realised that we had almost reached our goals and felt that it was timely to pause to be thankful, grateful and discuss the reasons we all agreed to do this in the first place – Fairy Tales.

Our passion to understand them, wherever they originate from in time, the world, the fossils of storytelling antiquities and camp fires, brought us together to bring them into flesh – into being, reality, and telling in our families and community.

We filled out thank you cards thoughtfully, colourfully, even poetically.

We connected with some of the presenters and storytellers who have inspired us with their submissions to contribute their knowledge into the conference. They have become friends along the way.

There is something about collaborating in a team to make something a reality that can create life long bonds.

Tomorrow the Australian Fairy Tale Society conference begins. Today the interstate arrivals commence. Welcome! The weather, touch wood, is looking great! And it is with great happiness we gather the storytellers, artists, creators, thinkers, of diverse cultural, and creative backgrounds together.

Acknowledging and paying our respects always to the First Nations people – and looking forward to a day when we will sit around camp fires, kitchen tables, and more sharing stories that together we all find strength, courage, truth and love in keeping – we start with a walk on country.

It has been a total joy to prepare for the Australian Fairy Tale Society Conference in Brisbane. Especially witnessing the expansion of connection and deepening understanding with First Nations and diversity within the Brisbane area.


Many thanks to Shirley, Bettina, Alex and Kathryn for making this journey of organising, such a tremendous experience and to the Australian Fairy Tale Society for entrusting us to host this event for you. Looking forward to tomorrow! There are many others to thank, but all that in a future post.


Things I have been learning

As part of this semester have been learning how to do more with the interactivity of my websites as part of a Masters in Education.

Crowd signal is easily embedded into word press.

Here is a short quiz. I’d like to do more of these, now I have seen how easy they are to do.

We also added polls to our group assignment and they were a lot of fun to design and I found myself quite curious as to what the effect of adding polls and quizzes to sites I already have might do to engagement.

Look out for poetry quizzes and polls!

The AFTS Conference is on its way!

It’s been wonderful working with some fantastic storytellers in the lead up to the Australian Fairy tale Society’s National Conference.


Behind the scenes we yarn.

As we talk, we’re looking for significant moments in our storytelling journeys – and the moments we became entranced by fairy tales and folk tales.

Looking at lineage and diaspora, digging into the past, but seeing it with the eyes of the present, and a sense of the ever present Australian landscape; we are inspired by the mysterious, and hear more clearly perhaps, the songs of homelands, motherlands, and storylands.

I cannot tell you SPOILERS – for we prepare panels, and storytelling for you.

Our conversations will go live, October 1st, 2022, and the stories we unearthed will be shared.

Talking to our families, and communities, we bring them on this journey with us too. Remembering grandmothers, and thinking on our children and what stories we will tell them it’s not something where we walk alone, or even just each other. Will we let the next generation only absorb stories that have no traces of their cultural lineage? No, that we cannot do. We are the keepers who want to give.

There is something about being with sisters from the diaspora

America, Botswana, Philippines – that inspires us all to understand where we are from and where we are going. To see the beauty in the ghosts we carry with us, shaking off the traces of internal barriers to strength.

To join us check out the Australian Fairy Tale Society Conference site – and make sure you book by September 18th 2022 the closing date.

With many thanks to the sponsors of the Conference! Look out too for podcast and radio shows featuring some of our upcoming presenters, and storytellers.

The Photograph Motif: A Perfect Creative Writing Response

I love this blog as well, from Andy.

I’ve been a huge fan of using photographs for inspirations for storytelling for a long time.

Here are some other sites you can locate images from and which sometimes add different scaffolded questions in.  Paintings as well as photographs can provide inspirations.

Once Upon a Picture  

New York Times Prompts

Visual Prompts by Year Level


Creative or descriptive writing can be hard. Staring at a blank piece of paper and feeling that you have nothing to say can be very hard. What’s the solution? Well, part of the solution is to help students build up a schematic of recyclable sentences, stems, images and overall shapes that they can then reuse, adapt, and draw on in their response. This helps to give a shape to their thinking, a scaffold onto which to hang their ideas.

I’m a massive advocate of all of these things and have had huge success in my own classroom using, for instance, sentence stems I first discovered in Chris Curtis’ excellent book How to Teach English. These include, for instance, recyclable stems such as ‘A year ago, a month ago, today’, which looks like this:

I’m also a big fan Drop, Zoom, Flash, End, which offers an overall shape to any piece…

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Winner of CLiPPA 2022 is Val Bloom!

I really like the Poetry Roundabout and have just come across whilst preparing an assignment for Masters of Teaching.

Why do I like it?

1. Because I enjoy practitioners discussing and sharing what they do, as creators, performers and educators

2. It encourages Author Visits (some of which I have done!)

3. It has links to other resources, books and sites which are going to be useful and inspiring to explore.

As for it’s author she is Liz Brownlee

“Hello! I’m Liz Brownlee, and I’ll be pushing round the ‘Roundabout’ –  a blog celebrating children’s poetry and poets from all over the world. It will be whirling with the poems, opinions, jokes, and posts of as many children’s poets as possible each year.

I’m a children’s poet (of course), have an MA in Writing for Young People (Distinction), and have five books published (Macmillan and Bloomsbury). A book I have edited will be out in August, and I’m writing one for Otter-Barry next year.”

Poetry Roundabout

Stars with Flaming Tails by Val Bloom, Illustrated by Ken Wilson-Max, Otter-Barry Books

On Friday 8th of July six shortlisted poets who’d written five books made their way to the Queen Elizabeth Theatre on Southbank, to celebrate the CLiPPA 2022, and hear who had won. Laura Mucha, Matt Goodfellow and I were shortlisted for Being Me, Val Bloom for Stars with Flaming Tails, Manjeet Mann for The Crossing, Kate Wakeling for Cloud Soup, and Matt Goodfellow (again!) for Caterpillar Cake.

The awards were hosted by Southbank and the ALCS as well as the CLPE, and Michael Rosen, last year’s winner, was the main compère, which was fantastic – and of course the whole proceedings were drawn live by the incomparable Chris Riddell as usual.

The performances by the poets were interspersed with the winning shadowing schools’ children’s performances, and wonderful they were, too. The whole…

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Teaching Poetry: A Step by Step Guide

I am very appreciative of the many teacher bloggers out there, like Andy,  who share what they do in the classroom. Sharing a few that I think you might find valuable.

Visit the original blog and show the teacher your appreciation.

This is Andy’s intro on the blog.

“I am an English teacher, but also deeply interested and involved in whole school pedagogy/research.

Before teaching at secondary school, I taught at undergraduate level for a number of years whilst completing a PhD in twentieth century literature. This also involved speaking at various academic conferences and publishing papers, an aspect of research I very much enjoyed!

This blog is an opportunity to refine, express and share some views about literature and teaching literature.

You can follow me on Twitter: @__codexterous

Thanks for stopping by and drop me a message on Twitter if you have any enquiries or questions!



Ok: first of all an admission. The title of this post, with its impossibly bold claim to distil teaching poetry into a series of neatly packaged steps, is somewhat overzealous. In a manner somewhat, and unfavourably, all too familiar to the last year, I fear it will overpromise and underdeliver.

However, what it will do, hopefully, is offer up a kind of template, a broad horizon of possibilities, that will seek to capture and condense what a typical poetry lesson for me might look like. Of course, within this template any individual lesson may vary, dependent on class or poem, but it should indicate a certain sweep of what a poetry lesson may look like.

So let’s imagine the following scenario: the students have the lesson’s poem in front of them. They haven’t yet read the poem and have no prior knowledge of it. What could happen next?

Step 1:…

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Community Tree Planting

Let's take our souls 
       for a morning in the bush
And gathering our planters
          in open spaces
          ask them to 'dig'
Let's bring water, trowels, family and friends
      as signs of care
And when we're done 
     listen to
          the saplings sing

By June Perkins


A planting day with Men of the Trees Queensland and Habitat Brisbane.

Many thanks to the Scouts who put on a BBQ afterwards and to all the planters.

Remembering Mr Richard St Barbe Barker.

If you are a teacher or student, you might also want to check out

the Red Room’s Poem Forest.

Published in Southerly

Delighted to be included in Southerly.

June Perkins, Two Livestreamed Funerals, a Cancelled Wedding, and the Saving Grace of Poetry

Extract from Southerly Announcement

“The diverse work offered here, in Southerly’s first online-only issue, gathers “Australian” writing produced in many different places and circumstances. Heterogenous and singular in its contents, the layered contiguity of digital publication optimistically promotes the lateral and multitemporal formation of the commons, true to the big ambitions and longevity of this venerable “little magazine.”

Our contributors dwell in and on the permeability of extreme and ordinary states, temporal confusion and disturbance, bringing genre to bear on forms of technological, linguistic, and psychical mediation, exposing Berlantian “impasse” in myriad ways.

We are grateful to Create NSW for a grant to pay contributors at a particularly disastrous time for arts funding. Most of all, we are grateful to the brilliant contributors who have entrusted us with their work. We loved putting this issue together. We hope our readers love it too.

*Lauren Berlant. Cruel Optimism. Duke University Press, 2011.

Southerly 79.3: The Way We Live Now

This special edition is entirely open access and free. You may read it online, download and, if you wish, print and share it. Read and enjoy!

Edited by Kate Lilley and Melissa Hardie.

Staying Deadly – Survey Invitation


Sharing this important message about a survey looking for participants to enhance the services in Mental health.

Felix says:

“The Staying Deadly Mental Health Survey is our community’s opportunity to have a say about the mental health services that are available to our mob.

If you are Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander, 18+ and living in South East Queensland, we want to hear from you!

To register your interest email the team at stayingdeadly@qcmhr.uq.edu.au or visit STAYING DEADLY

PLUS everyone who participates will take home a deadly limited edition shirt designed by Preston Campbell OR a $25 gift voucher!”

Note for Readers: Deadly – in Aboriginal English – means great, awesome

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