Papercuts Poetry Project

(Don’t you love the smell of alliteration in the afternoon?)

Today I taught my first lesson with Lachlan Brown, a poet that is going to be working for the next three weeks with my Year 10 class on a poetry workshop project, run by the Red Room Company.

Last week Lachlan and I came up with a program for my class, designed around the Toilet Door Poetry project.  In today’s introductory lesson, Lachlan spoke to the students about being a poet and writing poetry, and showed an accompnying slideshow of photos from his time writing in the crowded lower class suburbs of Paris.  Using examples of his own work, and some of his own favourite poems, Lachlan explored the rich inspirations for poetry that can come from our everyday lives and experiences.  To conclude the lesson, I gave the students a copy of Bronwyn Lea’s ‘Mineslec‘ on Poetry and Space and read this to them, leaving with the following questions for homework:

  1. Bronwyn Lea suggests that poems in public spaces can “deliver what we hadn’t thought to ask for”.  Come up with three ideas for what this might be.  Could our poetry aim to deliver a certain theme?  A certain form?    Other ideas…?
  2. Looking back over this reading, what points does Bronwyn Lea make that interested or surprised you?  Find something that you strongly agree or disagree with and explain why.

Day 1 edited

Next week the students will bring their ideas, as well as a photograph or an object that represents their everyday lives, and this will form the basis of our first poetry writing workshop.  Lachlan and I will also be taking the students on a ‘Poetry Walk’ around the school and nearby local street to practice ‘seeing the world like a poet’.  I can’t wait!


  1. #1 by kellimcgraw on September 3, 2009 - 6:14 pm

    i’ve cleared the board on the back wall, as you can see, and am planning to use it for some warm up poetry displays…i’m thinking kids writing a SHORT poem next week and ‘publishing it’ on a toilet roll. We can string these up on the board 🙂

  2. #2 by The_Red_Room_Company on September 8, 2009 - 11:43 am

    Dear all,

    Hopefully you’re still seeing the world like a poet, even when Lachlan is away! We’re looking forward to hearing more about your sessions and reading your poems.

    The Red Room team

  3. #3 by Hiba R on February 9, 2010 - 8:46 pm


    This sounds amazing! I don’t remember you doing this at school, it must have been when I had another block somewhere else.

    But the idea is really interesting! Thanks for the inspiration. Might try it with year 10 or year 9.

  4. #4 by kmcg2375 on February 9, 2010 - 11:50 pm

    Hiba, it was awesome! It was just my class working with Red Room – 10G from last year. I have the resources if you’d like them.

  1. Macquarie Poem Project « Kelli McGraw

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