At just 19 years of age, Maddie was crowned the Western Australian Slam Poetry Champion, winning a trip to Sydney to perform at the Sydney Opera House in the national championships. Since then, she has performed internationally, winning competitions in the USA and UK, and even performed at Glastonbury Festival and the Royal Albert Hall.
On Tuesday 10 August, our Year 9 students were treated to a special guest presenter, international award-winning performance poet Maddie Godfrey.
Maddie shared her poems, inspiring the students with their own thoughtful and moving works drawn from personal experiences of growing up and travelling the globe. The students’ favourite, however, was her witty and light-hearted Ode to my Kneecaps, which celebrates an often overlooked but essential part of the body!
Topics such as what makes a memorable poem, the life of a working poet and the use of poetic techniques kept the students engaged, alongside short writing exercises to encourage them to flex their creative brains. They wrote short list poems, building sensory details and poetic techniques into a cohesive poem, as well as considering how to create works inspired by their passions by drawing connections between personal experience and issues of importance.
For many students, this was an opportunity to extend their understanding of what makes an effective poem and, for all, it revealed that poetry is a dynamic and contemporary form of expression.
This was the second of our poetry workshops, with Mr Leon Felton previously introducing the boys to rap and exploring this musical genre as a modern evolution of poetry. Mr Felton shared examples of songs that engage with issues of social justice, such as the AB Original and Paul Kelly collaboration on Dumb Things, which addresses the ongoing issues of structural racism. Mr Felton demonstrated how the poetic devices students have been learning about in class are employed by musicians to create effective and meaningful songs.
We are grateful to have had the opportunity for both Maddie and Mr Felton to share their passion for poetry and song with the Year 9s. They have inspired our budding writers to create their own amazing pieces!
I know… by Riley Junk
I know that the trees are green
I know that every tree has branches
I know that tree trunks travel
I know that when the tree trunks travel, they travel into the sky
I know that trees grow into the sky, higher than airplanes
I know that when autumn comes the leaves leave
I know that when spring comes there is room for new leaves to grow
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