The Poetry Project
The Poetry Project aims to encourage creative writing among children and young people through school and community workshops.
The workshops encourage school-age children to write poems around an event of cultural significance. They are led by local poets, who take the children through the creative process.
The children write their poems on an illustrated poster, which can be displayed in their school or community. Parents and other community members are involved in the experience through the public displays, performance and readings.
Workshops in different parts of Auckland in 2009, 2010 and 2011 have encouraged children to write A Million Poems for Matariki.
This year, with the development of the Auckland super-city, poems are also being written about A Thousand Poems for Our Place in West Auckland.
The project is a collaboration between the Michael King Writers’ Centre and the New Zealand Electronic Poetry Centre (nzepc), which is supported by The University of Auckland.
A Million Poems for Matariki was initially developed by the Devonport Community Coordinator Maire Vieth and poet Michele Leggott on Auckland’s North Shore in 2009. The Poetry Project has broadened its scope in 2010 and 2011 to encompass other themes and other Auckland communities, with workshops in Otahuhu and Waitakere as well as the North Shore.
The workshops and events have generated not only a wealth of poems but resource materials for teachers and communities leaders wanting to undertake poetry initiatives of their own.
The Poetry Project’s web site contains information about the programme to date, and resource materials for teachers or community coordinators to use.
The Poetry Project has been supported by a grant from the Auckland Council ARST fund.