Poetry Box celebrations: visiting Te Totara Primary School in Hamilton



The river is deep

The river is dark

The fish follow

wherever the river


Shiny sparkly soft

The river is never ending

Rotem Y3



Yesterday I spent the whole day at Te Totara School in Hamilton and it was utterly wonderful. I did interactive poetry sessions with large groups ( 5 to 9 classes in each session) and ended with a writing workshop for 20 students Y3 – Y6.

I loved this welcoming school so much – the children were hooked on poetry, they listened and they joined in – and what fun we had making up poems together.

It was a long drive back to the wild West Coast of Auckland but I felt like I was glowing with poetry after such a nourishing school visit. It was as good as the Madame Woo dumplings I had had for dinner and the Turkish eggs I had had for breakfast at the the River Kitchen. And the mushroom pie librarian Michelle got me for lunch.

Poetry is like comfort food. It makes you feel so so good.

We only had time to do two poems in the writing workshop but I challenged the students with the second poem. I wanted them to search their memory banks and try writing a river poem. I kept getting glimpses of the river and was musing on how the Waikato River is like a magnet. I couldn’t stop looking at it. I saw it in the city as I ate my dumplings and as I drove to the school. I kept thinking the river is such a rich place of story, history, experience.

Thank you Te Totara Primary School and Read NZ for the chance to share poetry with your terrific students!




The rain comes down

roaring thunder rain

pouring down


Rain on the water

dripping on the roof




Y2 classes









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