Review Blog

Jun 04 2009

Poems by Young Australians by Taringa Foundation

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Random House, 2009. ISBN 9781741664065
(Ages: 11- 14) Recommended for both primary and high school libraries. Poems by young Australians vol 6 is the latest anthology of poems published by the Taronga (as in the zoo) Foundation Poetry Prize. The prize was launched in 2003. This volume consists of the prize winning and other selected poems submitted for the 2008 competition. The competition provides a unique opportunity for students to have their poetry judged by a panel of judges and subsequently published. The foreward is written by Bradley Trevor Greive, author of the successful Blue Day book.
There are three categories in the competition; junior, intermediate and senior. The youngest contributing poet in this volume is 5, the eldest 19 years old. The poems range in length from five lines to eight pages and there are a variety of styles.
The theme of the competition was Bears so some of the poems reflect this theme. There are also several poems on the theme of Animals and the Environment. Delightful black and white bear illustrations by Bradley Trevor Greive add to the visual appeal of this title.
The Poem about anything by Melissa Liu aged 14 reflects the freshness the young writers in this anthology bring to their poems. Creative writing class by Samantha Hartley aged 11 is a poem that takes the form of an imaginary dialogue between student and teacher. Not anymore by Claudi Fletcher aged 14 laments the kookaburras that have disappeared. Those crazy politicians by Ben Maltby aged 12 is a poem about politicians. There are three poems written by classes, all on an environmental theme and there are several shape poems.
The increasingly crowded curriculum means that poetry can be overlooked. This title is a valuable resource for teachers and students in their enjoyment and study of poetry. Jenny Brisbane, Richmond Primary School

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