POETRY: Author Steven Herrick inspires St John's Lutheran Kingaroy students Bailey Zischke, Ben Springhall, Ashton Williams, Isaac Jones, Seilina Birch, Zach Knight and Cody Stimpson.
POETRY: Author Steven Herrick inspires St John's Lutheran Kingaroy students Bailey Zischke, Ben Springhall, Ashton Williams, Isaac Jones, Seilina Birch, Zach Knight and Cody Stimpson. Jessica McGrath

Poetry evangelist inspires students with teen humour

TEENAGE humour and funny poems were the key to making English lessons fun for Kingaroy students.

St John's Lutheran School students from Years 6 to 9 were treated to a visit from internationally-acclaimed Australian poet and author Steven Herrick on Friday, August 9.

"I'm an evangelist when it comes to bringing poetry to as many people as possible,” he said.

"I want students and teachers to recognise poetry is not just about the written word, but it's about the spoken word.”

Mr Herrick aims to write poems appropriate for different ages.

"I want them to think poetry is accessible and relevant to their lives and to think that they can do it,” he said.

He shared celebratory poems about life through the eyes of 11-year-olds and 14-year-olds, even featuring some characters from the Kingaroy classroom.

"I vividly remember being a teenager, the good things and the nervous things about being a teenager,” Mr Herrick said.

"We ostracise teenagers too much, we sometimes fear them and we really should just understand its one of the more joyful stages of life.”

St John's English teacher Jodie Springhall said it was often hard to get boys especially excited about reading and writing.

"The poetry has this freedom that you don't have to worry about all of the mechanics of proper English,” she said.

"Its about allowing the kids to have that voice without having the fear of making mistakes.”

The students have been reading Mr Herrick's novels and poems in class in the lead-up to the visit, and often it's the boys who are begging for more.