Tag Archives: Mahana School

Treasury Challenge Favourites: Poems inspired by other poems

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I have written poems inspired by another poem. Sometimes a word or an image or the whole poem itself. This was a perfect challenge to celebrate A Treasury of NZ Poems for Children.

Sometime you can follow the pattern of a poem and sometimes you can play with that pattern and make it even more of you own. Both ways work!

 

W o w !!! I loved all these poems. It was impossible to pick a poet to give a book to. But after thinking hard I have decided to give a copy of the Treasury to Angus from Adventure School and Kereru class at Mahana School. Congratulations everyone I picked to post. If I didn’t pick you this time, do try my last two challenges and all the challenges next year.

 

A sad poem from Ashlee (I love this poem by Chris Tse which is why I talked about it on my other blog. Ashlee’s poem works beautifully as some very sad images grow inside it):

Hi Paula, I have written a poem about SAD. I hope you like it.  My poem was inspired by Chris Tse’s “The saddest song in the world” (from nzpoetryshelf.com)

from Ashlee S, Year: 4, Age: 8, School: Redwood School (Tawa) Wellington

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Ewen’s version of a very famous poem. Lots of poets all around the world have been inspired by William Carlos William’s poem. I love the way a poem so simple can puff out into something so much more. Great job Ewen.

Hi Paula, This is my poem inspired by The Red Wheelbarrow by William Carlos Williams. This was a really fun idea… Thanks! From Ewen

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By Ewen  aged 12,  Year 7, Cobham Intermediate School, Christchurch

 

Gemma’s poem follows the pattern of Mary Mary Quite Contrary.
Nursery rhymes are a great jumping pad for poems. Gemma’s made me laugh! Peter Millet has had fun doing poems like this in his books.

 

Gemma, Gemma…

Gemma, Gemma – What a dilemma

Why is your room a mess?

With books and toys and other great joys…

Does my head in, I must confess!

 

Mummy, Mummy – You are so funny

My room is perfect for me.

The books and toys are sources of joy

And placed there on purpose, you see!!!

 By Gemma, Age 8, Year 4, Adventure School

 

 

An alphabet poem. What a cool idea. I really want to do an alphabet book of poems. I also love the idea of classes writing a poem together which is what I always do when I visit schools.

A Nonsense Alphabet

A group poem by Kereru (Years 3 to 6), Mahana School

Inspired by Edward Lear

 

A is an apple

Shiny and clean,

Juicy and fresh

Red and green

a!

Yummy round apple!

 

 

B is a broccoli

Round and green

Who didn’t feature

In most kids’ dreams

b!

Evil little broccoli!

 

 

C was a cabbage

Round and green

Sitting in the soil

While watching the screen

c!

Bushy lime cabbage!

 

 

D was a dog

Who caught a pig

In a rocky river with fish

He loved to dig

d!

Hairy digging dog!

 

 

E is an eagle

Soaring through the skies

They feast on dead cows

That are surrounded by flies

e!

What an intelligent eagle!

 

 

F was a fox

Who was really funny

Pouncing on trampolines

and eating a bunny

f!

Hunting jumping fox!

 

 

G was a grackle

Sometimes they glide

Catching and digging worms

Flat on their side

g!

Gliding flying grackle!

 

 

H was a horse

Galloping up and down

Trotting in the arena

All around town

h!

Beautiful bay horse!

 

 

I was an icecream

Melting in the sun

But it was yummy

And it didn’t weigh a tonne

i!

Scrumptious delicious icecream!

 

 

J was a jaguar

Pouncing while hunting birds in the sky

Cute and fuzzy

Eating blueberry pie

j!

Dangerous fierce jaguar!

 

 

K was a kangaroo

That lived with the king

And had a koala

With a bell that dinged

k!

Jumping punching kangaroo!

 

 

L is a lizard

Slithering along

Dropping its tail

Singing a song

l!

Lovely lively lizard!

 

 

M was a monkey

That loved sailing in a boat

Singing with his

Shiny new furry coat

m!

Sparkling playful monkey!

 

 

N was a nose

Sniffing up rust

Smelling like roses

Who could you trust?

n!

Big strong noses!

 

 

O was an octopus

Who had to blink

Swimming around seaweed

And squirting out his ink

o!

Inky, lots of legs octopus!

 

 

P was a puppy

Chewing up his toy

Leaving fur around the house

Playing with a boy called Roy

p!

Fluffy cuddly puppy!

 

 

Q was a Queen

She’s such a scene

Picking on slaves

Acting so mean

q!

Frizzy afro Queen!

 

 

R was a rabbit

Bouncing happily around

Eating green grass

From the soft ground

r!

Happy white rabbit!

 

 

S was a starfish

Moving slowly in the sea

With a crab in one tentacle

And a golden key

s!

Slippery soft starfish!

 

 

T was a tiger

That has lots of strips

Living in caves

And having lots of fights

t!

Fluffy big tiger!

 

 

U was a unicorn

Fluffy pink and white

Prancing and dancing

Man – he’s so bright

u!

Fluffy, cuddly unicorn

 

 

V is a valley

Echoing every sound

Lonesome beneath the shadows of the hill

The encroaching forest surrounds

v!

Vacant valley!

 

 

W was a wolf

That had a fluffy coat

Who was hunting for fun

And ate lots of oats

w!

Fuzzy cute wolf!

 

 

X was a xerus

Running and dancing around

Collecting up nuts

From the mossy ground

x!

Bushy burgundy xerus!

 

 

Y was a yo-yo

That went around and around

You can do it anywhere

Even on a mound

y!

Tubby round yo-yo!

 

 

Z is a zonkey

He was so stripy brown

When he went dancing

He always boggied into town

z!

Party rocking zonkey!

 

 

Some children from Ormond School in Gisborne were inspired by my poem, ‘When I am Cold,’ in The Letterbox Cat. I loved the way they have played with my ending and found surprising things to add. Great job. I loved them all but have picked just a few to post.

When I Am cold 

When I am cold

I get rat bumps!

When I am very cold

I get chicken bumps!

When I get very, very cold

I get penguin bumps!

When I get very, very, very cold

I get elephant bumps

When I am very, very, very, very cold

I get moa bumps!

When I am very, very, very, very, very cold

I get into my black and white onesie,

put on fifty socks, a pair of gloves and then snuggle up into bed!

By Georgia

 

When I Am Cold

When I am cold

I get penguin bumps!

When I am very cold

I get chicken bumps!

When I am very, very cold

I get elephant bumps!

When I am very, very, very, cold

I get moa bumps!

When I am very, very, very, very cold

I get an infinity blanket

and sit down and watch T.V!

By Noah

 

When I Am Cold

When I am cold

I get ghost bumps!

When I am very cold

I get pig bumps!

When I am very, very cold

I get lion bumps!

When I am very, very, very, cold

I get snail bumps!

When I am very, very, very, very cold

I sit beside the fire!

By Joshua

 

When I Am Cold

When I am cold

I get skeleton bumps!

When I am very cold

I get zombie bumps!

When I am very, very cold

I get penguin bumps!

When I am very, very, very, cold

I get ghost bumps!

When I am very, very, very, very cold

I get dragon bumps!

When I am very, very, very, very, very cold

I get muddy bumps!

When I am very, very, very, very, very, very cold

I have a drink of hot chocolate!

By Taylor

 

Geena’s spring and cat poems were inspired by poems in The Letterbox Cat. It is very special when you inspire someone. I especially loved the sea cat and the hushing waves. Such good detail in this poem. And some pop-out words. Thank you so much!

Hiya Paula- After you came and visited Arrowtown School, and gave me a copy of your fantastic The Letterbox Cat, all your great poems have given me some great poems of my own, so I wanted to share some of them with you.

This one is inspired by your ‘Hello Spring’ poem. Thanks for the great idea!

 

Sprouts

A small peep of sun is all I need

My small green leaves must get light I plead

One bright spring morning, cool dew rests on my shoots

Oh my Roots!, could it be?

Is it the sun I see?

And sure enough the sun beams back at me.

 By Geena S

 

This poem is inspired by all your lovely cat poems in your book, so I thought I would write one about the lovely sea.

The Sea Cat

The sea is where you’ll find my cat.

You’ll see him jumping over bubbling waves,

like a blackbird flying across the indigo blue sky.

He loves everything about the Sea,

he loves the salty smell,

the hushing sound of the tumbling waves

and the sweet bliss of the smooth wet sand beneath his paws.

He leaps at passing crabs

and pounces at the forever moving sand,

as the water retreats beneath him.

My cat is a free Seagull.

His home is the Ocean

Because the Ocean is where he belongs.

By Geena S, Year 8, Arrowtown School

 

Another poem inspired by one of mine. I loved the way Glazie has played with rhyme such as ‘onion’ and ‘minion.’ I loved reading this!

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This is so cool. Like Gemma, Daniel has taken an old favorite and made it his own. Very imaginative. A tip top poem!

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 By Daniel, Year 1, aged 5, Adventure School

 

Another poem inspired by me. I love the way words loop and slip and play in Jack’s poem. It is very good to read aloud. Bravo!

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Room 8 at Adventure School in Whitby sent a terrific bunch of poems to me that were inspired by other poems. I loved them all but I have picked just a few to post. Such imagination and such great vocabulary. The poems all sang in my ear too! It was a real treat to get these poems. Wow!

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The Treasury Challenge favourites: Writing poems and then putting them in fascinating places in fascinating ways

This was a fun challenge.          I  l o v  e d   t h i s  s o   m u c h !!!

I think I will run it again next year. There were poems in ice and in the sand, and with word-biscuits, wire, twigs, bullets and thumb tacks.

I got to make a biscuit word-poem as I got given a bag of the biscuits when I visited Adventure School on the tour. I went back to the hotel, made the poem then ate a biscuit.Yummy biscuits! Cool idea!

As part of my tour, I also did beach poems with classes from Golden Sands School in Papamoa. It was a fabulous fun. I have posted some photos from the event below and the some of the wonderful poems they wrote when they got back to class. I loved this outing so much!

Thanks so much for sending me these. I loved every bit and bite of them all.

I have one $50 book voucher to give to one young poet and I am giving it to Yasmina from Mahana School in Nelson. Congratulations to all the poets I picked to post.

1. Gemma’s Smiley Face poem with homemade word biscuits

Dear Paula
Here is my poem for the fascinating place challenge…I made a smiley face with my cookie poetry in the kitchen.  Daniel’s class made a whole class poem with theirs.  I hope they send it to you!

Thank you from Gemma, age 8, year 4, Adventure School.

Note from Paula: I love the way the biscuit poems are both so playful!

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2. Toni Bennett’s Room 1 at Adventure School  (Year 1 and 2). This poem, ‘Play With Your Words,’ was the mastermind of the Lovewell family, with Robyn making all the cookies. The children put together their own words to create a class poem.

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 Play with your words

Poems smile at you

Playfully words jump around

Poems fall like leaves

Fast dragons carry words

Imagine then write on

Let words become dreams

Poems make paintings

Words fly really fas

Daniel is 5 and goes to Adventure School and tried to write his poem in the ice before the ice melted. It is beautiful poem. It must have looked great.

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Yasmina’s ‘Where Am I?’ She goes to Mahana School in Nelson and is aged 9. I adore the pop-out words in this poem. Read it aloud and you will hear them. A poem can not only look good but sound good too! I love the image it builds and the little story it tells too!

Yasminas tree poem

Bradley’s ‘Bullet Poem.’ He goes to Mahana School in Nelson and is aged 10. This poem also has pop-out lines (‘As I sprint the lead splinters’) This was Bradley wrote to me:

Dear Paula,
I have done a poem in a fascinating place for your competition.
It was interesting and exciting to write the stuff I like. The wind kept blowing my shotgun shells away and they would then roll into the others! I hope you enjoy it as much as I do.

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Jonathan is aged 11 and also goes to Mahana School. He used wire to make his poem which must have been hard work. I love this portrait of wire — in the poem and in the photo of the poem.

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Here is Imogen’s ‘Beach’ poem. She is 8 and goes to Kenakena School and is in Year 4. I love the poem scratched in the sand. The words are so beautifully chosen.

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The Beach
There at sunset
The sandy sand
The cold violent waves
The beautiful view of Kapiti Island
The tall steep sand dunes.
Ewen W is aged 12 and is in Year 7 at Cobham Intermediate School, Christchurch.
This is what she told me about her beautiful poem ‘Stain.’This must have been extremely hard work. The light would have shimmerd on the colours.

Hi Paula,

I wrote my poem using thumbtacks and although it was hard, it was really fun. This is my favourite challenge so far! Thanks for making it.

Stain
Ink blots
stain
the paper,
like
a tear
stains the
heart.

heartInk  stain

the

paper

like

a

tear

tear

stains

the

heart

And finally the photos and poems from the Hot-Spot-Poetry-Tour beach event at Papamoa with Golden Sands School and the wonderful Lynley Skiffington

unnamed photo 1 (4) Beach Poems 4 Beach poems 1 Sergio with rock Beach Poems 3 Beach poem 2

The Treasury Interviews: Lottie interviews Sue Wootton

Hi, I’m Lottie. I like music and Harry Potter. I am 12 years old and I
play football and do competitive swimming. I am in Year 8 and go to Mahana School in Nelson.

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Sue Wootton is an experienced poet and short story writer. She also is
an editor and creative writing tutor. She has written short stories
and poems for school journals which are widely read in New Zealand
schools.

The Interview:

Do you do much research when you write?

Hi Lottie. Thank you for your questions.  The answer to this is “yes”, but sometimes I don’t even know I’ve been doing research until much later – sometimes months or years later! Those are the times I’m daydreaming or night-dreaming or watching the world or taking the bus or talking to friends or reading a book. Other times I deliberately set out to discover as much as I can about a subject. Either way, it all turns out to have been research in the end.

What has your biggest achievement in life been?

When I was 16 I went on the Spirit of Adventure (now it’s called the Spirit of New Zealand), and even though I am absolutely terrified of heights, I climbed up the main mast to the crow’s nest – not just once – but every single day of the trip. It was a challenge I set for myself, to prove to myself that I can do difficult things, as long as (a) I want to, (b) I learn the rules and techniques and (c) I take it one step at a time.

How do you choose the names of characters in your writing do they have
any meaning to you or are they random?

It’s not random. In fact it’s something I agonise over! I have pages and pages of my writing notebook filled up with names, and I read the births and deaths columns to collect new ones. When I’m writing a character I search for the name that suits him or her best… this can be pretty difficult, and sometimes I have to change the name a few times until it feels right. Sometimes I might want to have a name that anyone can relate to, and sometimes something more unique. In my picture book, Cloudcatcher, the main character is called Mr Bellavista because it rhymes, and also because bella vista means “beautiful view”, and that’s important for the story. In the novel I’m writing now there is a young girl called Fleur, which isn’t a common name for children these days. I’ve tried to change it several times, but nothing else fits her: she seems to like being Fleur, so Fleur she is.

Do you have any strange writing habits?

Do you count walking around the room talking out loud to myself?  I have a favourite fountain pen and I get in a bad mood when I lose it. It’s not so much that I write with it – although I do, quite often – it’s more that I doodle with it while I’m thinking, until the doodles turn into words.

 

Do you have a day job?

I used to be a physiotherapist, but since I’ve been a writer my day jobs have revolved around combinations of editing, researching and teaching.  But this year I am studying for a Masters Degree in Creative Writing, and writing a novel, so that’s my day job at the moment.

 

How long does it take to write a poem/story?

It depends but most of the time things have to go through multiple drafts before they are ready to be published. It’s sort of like sculpting in that you whittle away until you get the best shape. In my workshop an awful lot of words land up on the floor, get swept up and thrown away. There always seems to be poems or stories that go quickly, and others that are problematic and time-consuming. I am a pretty slow writer though, overall.

 

Do you ever have a writer’s block? How do you get rid of it?

Yes, but I try not to let the idea of writer’s block get lodged in my head. I tell myself I need a break, and then I go and rest my brain by using my body – a swim or a walk is good for unblocking things, and so is meeting friends, talking about something completely different, and thinking about their problems instead of your own. And laughter usually works – a giggle a day keeps boring at bay. Also (see above) I doodle!

 

What a marvellous interview Sue and Lottie. Lots of good tips for writing hiding her. Sue has four poems in A Treasury of NZ Poems for Children. I love the way Sue brings the real world into her poems with a touch of imagination and a very musical ear.

 

The Treasury Interviews: Lucy interviews Rachel Bush


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Photo credit: Martin de Ruyter

Rachel Bush was born in 1941. She has published 7 collections of poetry, her first was called The Hungry Woman and was published in 1997. She currently lives in Nelson.

The Interviewer: My name is Lucy and I am 11 years old. I like to write poems and LOVE to read. I go to Mahana school and I am in Year 7.

 The Interview:

Have you always loved to write and from what age?

I have always enjoyed writing, but I don’t know that I have always ‘loved’ it. When I was a bit younger than you, I was a very keen reader of Enid Blyton books and I wrote two rather pallid imitations of her books. In both of them there were four central characters called George, Kath, Alice and Anne – which names are very like those of some of the characters in Enid Blyton’s Famous Five books. I was starting to grow my hair at this time and all four characters had long plaits.

At first I wrote more stories than poems. Poems seemed to be what i wanted to write as I got older. I still write stories occasionally.

I kept a diary from when I was thirteen. I don’t exactly keep a diary any more, though sometimes I will write about particular things that have just happened but I do always have at least one notebook on the go and I write something in it most days.

What advice would you give to a writer wanting to publish a book?

I’d encourage anyone who wants to do this to go ahead. There are more opportunities now for publishing than there were when I was a young writer.

I sometimes think publishing is a gradation. At one end is someone whose poems/novels/short stories are hidden away deep in a computer file. When I was younger the equivalent was having them hidden in a bottom drawer, and at the other end is a big fat book like The Luminaries with lots of publicity for the author. A first step to publication might be sharing your writing with another person. Probably the first time I had a poem published was when I had a poem in the school magazine when I was in Year 12.

Computer software make it possible to publish your own work and have it looking very smart and stylish. A poet whose a friend of mine sends out a stylish looking card on his birthday. It’s folded in three and on five sides there’s at least one poem. On the sixth side there’s a little note about it being his birthday. (He also has a book published and has work published in magazines.) Or you can go online and publish your work there.

If you want to have a book published, I suppose you try to get some sort of publishing record first of all – maybe sending things to magazines for instance. This involves a bit of research because you need to be familiar with what sort of thing that particular magazine publishes. What sort of length are the pieces they publish? Are they prose and/or poetry?

If I had a book ready to go I would look hard at different publishing firms and what sorts of things they like to publish. I’d be trying to decide whether my book would fit in with the sort of thing they seem to want to publish.

I’d want to make a manuscript look good with no typos, a good clear plain font, double spaced with wide margin space. It would be easy to find information about this sort of thing online. Some publishers don’t want a hard copy, but prefer to be sent a computer file. Again you need to do some research. So this aspect of writing is more like being your own Personal Assistant and being business-like about trying to get work published.

What is your favourite genre to read?

I don’t have a favourite genre. I try to ready widely.

There’s almost always a book of poems that I’m reading and I keep it by my bed or in my handbag if the book is skinny enough. At present I am still reading Essential New Zealand Poems and I am also reading Horse with Hat by Marty Smith. I’ve also read some of Milton’s poetry, particular a verse drama called Samson Agonistes that for some reason I never got round to reading when I studied Milton as a university student. (Paula — these books aren’t children’s books in case you think they are.

I’m reading a novel too – it’s called Concluding by Henry Green. It first came out when I was 6 years old but of course I didn’t know anything about him then. He was talked about a bit when I was at university but was never in any of the English papers I did.

I love Victorian novels. I read and reread Dickens, Trollope and George Eliot’s books for instance.

I’m enjoying biographies more as I get older.

I’ve read several books from the Old Testament this year.

I like reading good short stories and this year I discovered an excellent writer, Lydia Davis. I also found out that nearly everyone except me had known of her work for years!

So it seems that I can’t really answer this question about my favourite genre but have just meandered around it

If you want to write in a particular genre it’s likely you’ll read that genre. At the same time I sometimes find that the books that really get me writing are a surprise. It’s not necessarily books of modern poetry that make me want to write poems.

Where does your inspiration come from?

I don’t often feel inspired. I try to keep writing and sometimes something unexpected happens and I find I’m writing more easily and confidently than usual. It’s wonderful when that happens.

Things that make me want to write vary.

What I read is often helpful. Sometimes first lines of very good writers make me want to write my own poem almost as a response to theirs. Janet Frame and Anne Carson have done that for me.

Sometimes being under a particular pressure makes me write easily. Which seems strange. Pressure might be a time constraint, like to write something in 20 minutes. Or it might be a set of ‘rules’, like ‘Write a poem that consists entirely of untrue statements’. I think the hardest thing to do is probably to be told to take as long as you need to write the best poem you possibly can about whatever you think is important. If there are constraints you can always blame them if your poem isn’t as terrific as you would have liked it to be.

Walking helps me to write. I’m pretty sure Fiona Farrell has written about how how walking helps her to write.

Glenn Colquhoun says something somewhere (I’m sorry I can’t be more precise), about writing being best when you write about those things you see out of the corner of your eyes. I like that idea. Sometimes it helps to sit with and discover what I’m really preoccupied with and use that in my writing, rather than write what I think I ought to write about.

Do you ever take a break from writing a poem and come back to it?

Yes, I almost always do this.

I mentioned earlier that I always have a notebook. Usually this is where I draft poems and then maybe weeks later I read back over this notebook. Some things I’ve written look a bit feeble but often there’s something I can use and develop further.

After a gap of time, I can often look at a poem a bit more objectively and see what needs doing to it. I would hardly ever send a poem I’ve just written away to a literary magazine because I am so likely to see things I want to change if I look at it after a few weeks.

Do you ever get writers block, if you do how can you get rid of it?

Yes, I suppose sometimes I do feel the opposite from inspired and can’t think how to begin or continue anything.

Sometimes I find that to think of it as being like having a bit of a headache is useful. Okay, it’s there, and I can either retire to bed feeling sorry for myself or just go on doing what I do as best I can. But if I decide I am suffering from Writer’s Block and stop writing then there is no chance of my writing well.

Michael Harlow once said at a workshop that if you write a word another flies to it. That’s mostly true for me. So if I can find a word or a phrase from anywhere and write it down then there is a chance some writing will happen. It may not be very good, but at least its writing.

If I was feeling flat about my writing, I used to return to a book called Writing Down the Bones by Natalie Goldberg and it helped me to forgive myself for often writing rubbishy, dull stuff. (And it also has some really good suggestions, about daily writing practice that I found useful.)

What is the hardest thing about writing?

I don’t think I can answer this very well. There’s no single thing that is particularly hard for me.

I have learned to accept that alternating between thinking I have just written a Truly Terrific Poem and thinking that I am an Embarrassing Disaster of a Writer who will never manage an even halfway decent poem doesn’t help me at all. I’m gradually realising that nothing I write will change the world and knock its little cotton socks off, but also I’ve come to realise that there’s no need to be ashamed of what I write.

Just keeping going, I guess, is hard. There are lots of other wonderful things to do. How do you balance these different aspects of your life? I’m busy, as most people are busy. I don’t write as much as I would like to write. I also need to work on regularly finishing poems and sending them away to literary magazines.

Sometimes writing can seem a bit lonely. But having a group of people you trust and with whom you can share your writing helps.

Nobody has to be a writer. But when it’s going well it’s good fun and satisfying.

Thanks for a wonderful interview Lucy and Rachel. Rachel has given us all kinds of tips about writing and has shown us the wide range of books she reads as an adult. To be a good writer you do need to keep reading and trying out things as you write — no matter what age you are! Rachel has a lovely poem in A Treasury of NZ Poems for Children called ‘Early.’

The Treasury Interviews: Sapphira interviews Rachel McAlpine — It’s harder for me to stop writing than to start writing.

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Rachel McAlpine edited Another 100 Poems for Children, an anthology of children’s poems for Random House a number of years ago. She has published lots of adult poetry books and has poems in the School Journals. She has a NZ Book Council author page. She has several poems in the A Treasury of New Zealand Poetry for Children.

Sapphira Harrington I recently turned 13. I enjoy writing and reading story, I prefer writing poems to a long story. Most people don’t understand how I write what I do for my age. I am looking for a few writers’ ideas and opinions or how they write etc.

 

 

The Interview:

What inspired you to become a writer? I think I was born a writer. I always told my sisters spooky stories in bed, and regularly sent drawings and poems to the Children’s Page of our newspaper by the time I was about 9.

What is your favourite writing strategy? Strategy? It’s harder for me to stop writing than to start writing. So any little thing could trigger a poem. But when I’m writing something longer, I like to go away for a few days to a quiet place, leaving my life behind. That’s a geographical strategy.

What strategies would you recommend? In between bouts of writing, take a break on your own —but not a social break. Go for a walk. Do the dishes. Or read a book. Your mind will carry on working.

What is your favourite poem by you? Favourite poem by me: ‘Before the Fall.’ See the video: https://vimeo.com/81562831

Favourite saying or quote (doesn’t have to be by you.)? Favourite saying or quote: Very very good is good enough.

Any advice for upcoming writers? Lots and lots and lots and lots and lots of reading. Lots and lots and lots and lots and lots of writing.

Any sites or people I should visit or read? Visiting websites for writers and reading books about writers is a kind of procrastination. Don’t visit often.

And take it easy—writing is hard, but that’s half the fun: it should be the best fun in the world. It shouldn’t be agony, or why are you doing it?

Best wishes for an exhilarating life as a writer.

Rachel McAlpine

Thanks for a wonderful interview Rachel and Sapphire. I really enjoyed reading this. I really love rachel’s poems for children as they are a great mix of juicy sounds and bounding imagination.