Kurnell Public School, NSW
The Poetry Object, 2013
Kurnell Public School is located in Kurnell, a metropolitan suburb, but due to its isolation at the end of the peninsular, it is considered a village. A priority of the school is to provide activities which broaden the children's experiences in the wider community.
Footballs, fishbowls and a unicycle were just some of the special 'talismanic' objects that inspired Kurnell Public School student poems.
The Poetry Object workshops were lead by celebrated Australian poet, Liz Allen, who shared her own 'talismanic' poem before guiding students in Years 2-6 through pre-writing and poem composition activities.
Classrooms were filled with precious and talismanic objects, including a magic 'Disappearing Box', a grandfather's painting of Greece, photos of rabbits and puppies, old picture books, a small fish in a Cling-Wrap-topped bowl and a large community of stuffed animals (a fair few with 'most of their hair loved off', like their very own Velveteen Rabbits.)
Photographer Tawfik Elgazzar visited students in Years 3 – 4 to capture some of the incredible moments of students with their 'poetry objects', which we hope to include in the Customs House exhibition.
The students' poems were submitted as part of The Poetry Object 2013 writing project and published in an online gallery on The Red Room Company's website.
Elizabeth Allen lives in Sydney where she writes and works as a bookseller. Her poetry and short fiction has appeared in many major literary journals as well as in the Best Australian Poems 2012 and 2014. She is the author of a chapbook, Forgetful Hands (Vagabond Press, 2005), and a full-length collection, Body Language (Vagabond Press, 2012), which won the Anne Elder Award.
She was one of the judges of the inaugural Noel Rowe Poetry Award and carried out a writing residency at the Arteles Creative Centre in Finland during 2016. Her new poetry collection, Present, will be published by Vagabond Press later this year.