Recently I’ve had quite a bit of success with having poetry published for kids, in both magazines and book-based anthologies, with the most recent being the inclusion of no less than seven of my poems in the gorgeous anthology, A Boat of Stars (edited by Margaret Connolly and Natalie Jane Prior, published by ABC Books, Harper Collins Australia 2018). That’s generated quite a bit of demand for me to give poetry workshops, both for kids and adults. For one such workshop, which was for an audience of speech and drama teachers, I came up with a new concept which I’ve called Page to Voice, Pen to Performance and which focuses on the oral and dramatic aspects of improvised poetry in a simple, engaging and accessible way. I thought other people might be interested in the concept–and I’m very happy for anyone to freely use it in their own workshops, just with due acknowledgement of the originator, ie me. :-)
Here’s how it works: You choose a theme to build a poetic concept around first. In the case of the workshop I gave, I chose to build that poetic concept around something we know well and use in both performance and speech: our bodies, and specifically, five parts of the body: feet, hands, mouth, eyes, ears.
Then I used three different frameworks to use that concept with: body as music; body as metaphor; and body as mini-drama, to create three simple poems which are designed to be spoken and performed, but which also work on the page. The point, too, is they are improvisational: You shouldn’t think about them much at all, they are ‘instant poems;’ I made these up in just a few minutes.
So here goes: [Read more…]