Thank you Claire for being part of an ‘Interview with a children’s Poet’
1. What poets did you enjoy reading as a child?
AAMilne, Robert Louis Stevenson,
2. Do you remember the first poem that you ever wrote? How old were you? Can you share it with us?
Yes, it was in grade 3 I think, so I was about 8 years old. I can remember the first verse but I think it is safest left in the vaults of my memory!
3. Do you write mostly in rhyme or in free verse? Do you know why?
Mostly in free verse. Occasionally in rhyme (and I can limerick almost on demand). Why? Not really sure. Free verse just seems to fit me better.
4. Are your poems best performed aloud or read quietly to oneself?
I like to think they’re best out loud. I guess there are some that work as quietly read too?
Can you provide an example?
things live under there
things that are afraid of the light
things hide under there
things that don’t want to be found
things roll under there
things that are never seen again
things happen under there
things that only happen at night
dank, smelly, sludgy and way too closed in
my dog loves it there
Snuffling shuffling whiffing whoofing
This poem has appeared in The School Magazine
5. Who first published your poetry?
I had poems published in secondary school year books, but my first publishing experience as an adult was with poetry for adults and it was a magazine called Centoria. The fee was two stamps. My first children’s poem was in The School Magazine.
6. Where else have your poems been published?
The School Magazine has been where most of my poems have appeared, but one ‘Pompeii’ is still appearing on a train near you (that is…if you live in Melbourne metro area) and is also part of the education kit supporting the Melbourne Museum’s Pompeii exhibition. My poetry has also appeared in anthologies and online.
7. Anthologies are often places for poets to seek publication. How would you suggest a new poet find out about upcoming anthologies?
Join a writer’s network or organisation. They often list opportunities. There are writers centres in many states and also organisations like Poets Union, dedicated solely to poetry, if not to children’s poetry.
8. Have you published a collection of your own poems? Where would we find a copy?
No collection published. One day?
9. What are you working on at the moment?
A range of projects. I have several poems awaiting final tweaks, a picture book in concept stage, and a longer project underway.
10. Do you have a website/blog/facebook where we can find out more about you?
11. Do you have a favourite poetry websites?
No, but my noticeboard is full to overflowing with poems I like.
12. Would you like to share one of your poems with us?
This poem appeared in an anthology called Celebrations, from DDD Publishing
Catch a Christmas carol cold
and pop it in your pocket –
deep, deep down.
Curl it around your thumb
until it quivers and hums.
Knead it with your fingers
until it bubbles and sings –
rising and ready
to bring Christmas in.