On Wednesday 11th May, a group of students across Years 10-12 were fortunate enough to attend a poetry workshop with Taylor Mali, a renowned American Slam and Performance poet. The initiative was a fantastic chance for us to learn more about metaphor, and it's function in representing the larger concepts in life that are harder to explain, creating implications and avoiding cliches.
During the workshop, we looked at Mali's poem 'How Falling in Love is like Owning a Dog', and learnt about how emphasis and gesture can enhance meaning within a performance. The workshop was also a chance for some students to receive feedback on the poetry they had written in class; hearing Mali speak about poetry with such passion was really engaging, and inspiring. His explanation of his performance development process with his poems allowed a better understanding of how delivery can affect a poem's impact upon an audience. To conclude the workshop, we wrote a collective poem, with the prompt and title 'The Future is a Broken Bullseye', evoking insightful and resonant lines, like 'one day the circles will shatter into squares' (Lauren Fuge, Year 12) and 'it's far away, but imminently close, and if its crack grows even one millimetre longer, it will shatter, sending its arrows to the floor' (Jess Stone, Year 11).
The main revelation that I took away from the workshop was that poetry is about communicating your own voice, which is to say that it allows an outlet for expression. Poems are meant to be accessible, and I felt motivated to write more, from both Mali's work, and the talent of the students around me; it was really special to take part in such an interactive and creative process, and to appreciate the skill of those around us. Being able to connect globally with professional creatives, and others as passionate about poetry was an opportunity everyone was incredibly grateful for, and it will be exciting to see the future opportunities offered to expand our horizons and to learn more.
...article written by Anna Ryley, Year 12