Tūhono 2021: We Want Your Poems

Tūhono, Wellington City Libraries’ poetry journal for kids and teens, is open for submissions until 14 November 2021! All throughout the month of October (and part of November), we are accepting submissions of poetry from young writers aged 5 – 18 in Wellington City. Last time we had so many poems that it was hard to fit them all into a single book — so this time, we’ll be publishing two volumes — one for kids, and one for teens.

Unlike some other poetry journals, having your work accepted in Tūhono is not a competition — as long as you follow the rules of submission, every piece of work that gets submitted will be published. Tūhono itself — the collection of poetry from young people all over Wellington — will be published as an eBook on OverDrive, and in a limited print run for our libraries, so that everyone with a library card can borrow it and bask in your talent and glory! Check out Tūhono 2020 on OverDrive here.

Let your poetic thoughts take wing!

Here is all the information you need to submit a poem for inclusion in Tūhono 2021:

When?

  • Submissions will be open from 1 October – 14 November 2021.
  • The journal will be published and available to borrow from the library in December 2021.

Where?

  • Submissions for Tūhono 2021 have now closed. Thank you to everyone who submitted. The journal will be published in late December 2021.

Who?

  • Everyone between the ages of 5 and 18 who lives in the Wellington region may participate.

What?

  • Theme: We want you to write a poem on the theme of “Whakaata | Reflection.” Exactly what this means to you is up to you — you could write a poem reflecting on something that has happened to you, you could write about a literal reflection in a mirror, window, or lake. The world is your oyster. We recommend you check out the definitions of the words ‘whakaata‘ and ‘reflection‘ in a dictionary to find out all the hidden meanings before you start writing. They don’t mean exactly the same thing — and that is intentional, to give you a wider range of stuff to write about.
  • LengthYour poem should not be longer than one A4 page typed, with size 12 font and 1.5 line spacing. Only one poem per person will be accepted.
  • Language: Your poem may be written in English or te reo Māori.

Why?

  • We want to give all young people in Wellington the opportunity to have their work published on an accessible platform. We think everyone deserves a platform and the chance to see something they created be part of the library’s collection, alongside all the great authors and poets represented on our shelves. The last edition of Tūhono proved itself to be a uniquely Wellington collection of writing, capturing the thoughts and emotions of kids and teens from all over the city and region across time. We are so excited to see what you come up with this time!

Throughout the month of October, we will be posting regular updates providing inspiration for your writing — so keep your eyes peeled! If you would like more information about Tūhono, you are more than welcome to contact the editors here. Happy writing, everyone!

Get your poetry game-face on!

person doing wall graffiti

Image: Upsplash free images & pictures

Do you know why August 2021 is special? No, not because we’ve gone into another lockdown 🙁 At the end of this month, it’s Phantom National Poetry Day! (Friday 27 August).

Now I know some of you may sigh and think “poetry-smoetry!” but the poetry world is all around us in the music lyrics we sing along to, the books we read (many picture books and even some chapter books are written in verse), to even the random thoughts that pop into our heads! It’s also a great way to express how your feeling in this topsy-turvy world of ours right now.

And it’s fun to do because there are no rules! You can start your sentence halfway through, OR WRITE THE ENTIRE POEM IN CAPITAL LETTERS, or don’t use any capital letters at all! Your poems don’t even have to rhyme to still be poetry. It’s up to you – it’s your creation.


Here are just a few ideas to get you started:

Predictive poetry

Grab you phone and start a text by writing the first couple of words from a book (or newspaper article). Then simply keep adding the next word in the predictive text that you feel fits the poem you’re creating.

Here’s my example which I’ve named “The unnamed thing”:

The Unnamed Thing

And itself was very good but

The pussycat was a bit surreal.

The lake was still

Not sure how to feel…

Blackout Poetry

Blackout poetry is when you take a written piece of text from a book, newspaper, or magazine and circle the words you want to keep and cross out the ones you don’t, in order to come up with your very own poetry!

If you’ve got an iPad at home, why not try your hand at some digital blackout poetry:

Here’s my blackout poem using this Stuff Kea Kids news article:

Teddy Takes Lead

Teddy is a therapy dog

Helps people

providing plenty of cuddles

maths games and reading

See Teddy in action!

Poetry Box Lockdown Challenge

On this great NZ poetry page, there’s a new theme for you to explore every month. The August theme is

“Look at the sky and skydream”

Want to read more poetry?

…but your stuck at home? Don’t worry! Wellington City Libraries have got loads of e-resources for you to borrow. Check out our OVERDRIVE KIDS POETRY RESOURCES HERE

Want to find out more about poetry?

Brain Bunny

New Zealand Poetry Society

Family Friendly Poems

poetry4kids.com

Rainbow Poetry

Need Help Writing Your Poem for Tūhono?

Kia ora! We have loved receiving all of your entries so far for Tūhono, our brand new poetry journal for young Wellington writers! If you need a refresher on what Tūhono is, feel free to check out our first blog post about it.

Over the next few weeks, we’ll be posting some useful tips and tricks on writing poetry on this blog, to help you with your submission! We thought we would start by recommending some really good books you can borrow from our libraries that are all about how to write poetry, and what poetry is all about. Big thanks to Stephanie, the wonderful librarian who buys all of our books for children and teenagers, for putting this list together for us!

How to write poems / Coelho, Joseph
Our first books is packed with exciting activities and starting points to get you creating your own poetic masterpieces! This book is really great for beginners as well as more experienced poets. There are many different types of poetry covered in this comprehensive ‘how to’ guide. If you want to reserve it, you can click on the book’s title, and then the orange “Place Reserve” button — then just choose which library you would like to collect the book from!

What is poetry? : the essential guide to reading & writing poems / Rosen, Michael
Michael Rosen is a well-known and popular British poet. In this book, he draws on his many years of experience to share information and tips on how you can become a poet too. What makes this book especially interesting is that he takes the time to walk you through a number of his own poems, explaining how and why he wrote them. Understanding the ‘why’ and ‘how’ of poetry is really important if you want to write your own some day!

Jabberwalking / Herrera, Juan Felipe
What exactly is ‘Jabberwalking’? The author Juan Felipe Herrera (a well-known American poet) explains that jabberwalking poets aim to create something that’s not like a typical poem. To be a jabberwalking poet you must move and write at the same time! You must write everything that comes into your head — things you see, things you hear, and things you feel. The challenge then is to interpret all your scribbles and turn them into a poem. This is an incredibly creative and unusual way to craft a weird, wild poem — just the kind of poetry we’d love to see in Tūhono.

The Usborne creative writer’s handbook / Daynes, Katie
This super useful handbook covers many different forms of creative writing, including a useful section on poetry. You will find though that much of the advice you can find throughout this books is relevant to crafting poems — for example, coming up with ideas, planning, grammar, and punctuation. With this book in your poetic toolbelt, you’ll be well on your way to becoming a super successful writer!

8 New Non Fiction to read during winter

Hey Kids! Check out the latest new non fiction at your local library. Books featured in this post range from science and technology; arts and crafts, myths and legends; biographies about inspiring two inspiring female fashion designer and so much more! Just in time for the winterest time of the year!

Enjoy!

Make This!

Time to master your science and engineering skills with Make This! This book is packed with creativity-boosting projects for all kinds of kid creators, such as making a musical instrument, catapult and sun stove.

 

 

 


All about Indonesia.

Introduces Indonesia, describing its history, geography, culture, everyday life, educational system, cuisine, language, and religion, as well as discussing traditional regional costumes, music, and dance.

 

 

 


My first book of haiku poems : a picture, a poem and a dream.

My First Book of Haiku Poems introduces children to inspirational works of poetry and art that speak of our connection to the natural world, and of their own ability to see an entire universe in the tiniest parts of it. It pairs fresh interpretations of 20 classic poems by Issa, Shiki, Basho, and other great Japanese haiku masters with stunning original paintings that both portray and inspire a child’s inner life, and open a door into the world of their own imagination. A fully bilingual children’s book, My First Book of Haiku includes the original Japanese poems (in both Japanese script and Romaji form) on each page alongside the English translation to form a complete cultural experience. Each haiku poem is accompanied by a full page “dreamscape” painting that will be admired by children and adults alike. Commentaries and brief bios offer parents and teachers ready-made “food for thought” to share with young readers and stimulate a conversation about each work


What do you celebrate?

Discover a world of celebrations! This entertaining book introduces kids to 14 holidays, from Brazilian carnival, Chinese New Year, Bastille Day, and the Cherry Blossom Festival to Purim, Holi, Eid al-Fitr, Day of the Dead, and Halloween. As in the popular What’s On Your Plate?, each spread showcases a different holiday, offering background, cultural context, vocabulary words, photographs, and instructions for festive projects.

 

 


Along came Coco.

In a time when children were meant to be seen and not heard, along came Coco, a small French orphan with an eye for style, a talent for sewing, and a big imagination. Coco grew up in an orphanage run by very strict nuns, but she wasn’t very good at following rules. At a time when girls were told to brush their hair 100 times until their arms were sore, Coco promised herself that one day she would snip away her locks so that she wouldn’t have to be so fussy — girls needed time for other things, and they needed some of the comforts that boys enjoyed. Why shouldn’t girls have pockets? And why did they have to wear corsets all the time? An exploration of Coco’s early life and a celebration of her creativity, Along Came Coco shows the ways in which Coco Chanel’s imaginative spirit led her to grow into one of the world’s most beloved fashion icons.


Vivienne Westwood.

Vivienne Westwood always stood up for the outsider–even at school. When she grew up, she created a fashion philosophy that went against the grain and celebrated the music of the moment: punk. Vivienne became a world-famous famous designer by staying true to herself and speaking up for what she believed in. This inspiring story of the outspoken fashion designer’s life features a facts and photos section at the back

 

 


Japanese myths, legends, and folktales.

Tales originally written in English by author Yuri Yasuda based on her interpretations of twelve traditional Japanese stories. Japanese versions of each tale include simple kanji with furigana pronunciations to help learners recognize the characters.

 

 

 


Let’s investigate with Nate: The water cycle.

Ever wonder where water comes from and where it goes? Or why sometimes it rains and sometimes it snows? Then join Nate Ball and his crack team of curious scientists as they shrink down smaller than a raindrop to see first hand what the water cycle is all about.

5 new children’s non fiction for Term 4

Term 4 has started and the library has some new and exciting non fiction books for your viewing and reading pleasure. This blog post features non fiction about celebrating diversity, unleashing your inner graphic novelist and techno wiz and  reciting poetry and nursery rhymes on a midsummer’s evening. Why not take a look at these books and decide a trip to the library is in order. Enjoy!

 

image courtesy of syndeticsPride: Celebrating Diversity and Community.

Read all about Pride Day, which is a celebration about embracing diversity and fighting for freedom and equality for gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people around the world.

 

 

 

image courtesy of syndeticsHow to make Awesome Comics.

For the avid comic lover, this book could be considered the holy grail of comics! Read this book and get the chance to become a comic ‘Jedi’ master where your innovative ideas, plot and stories for comics comes to life! Learn how to invent awesome characters, tell thrilling stories and best of all, how to draw so you can make your very own awesome comic!

 

 

image courtesy of syndeticsA poem for every night of the year.

This is probably one of the most beautiful books I have seen all year in the junior non fiction collection. This is a magnificent collection of 366 poems to share for every night of the year. The poems – together with introductory paragraphs – have a link to the date on which they appear. Shakespeare celebrates midsummer night, Maya Angelou International Women’s Day and Lewis Carroll April Fool’s day. Perfect for reading aloud and sharing with all the family, it contains a full spectrum of poetry from familiar favourites to exciting contemporary voices.

 

image courtesy of syndeticsCreate with Code.

Collaborate with your friends and start your very own CoderDojo Nano club, with its own website! In this handbook, covering HTML, CSS and JavaScript, you will find clear, step-by-step instructions, followed up by open-ended prompts and challenges which encourage the reader to take the initiative.

 

 

image courtesy of syndeticsThe Puffin Book of Nursery Rhymes.

Complete with beautiful illustrations by Raymond Briggs, the much-loved creator of The Snowman, this favourite classic of nursery rhymes is now available for a whole new generation of children. With over 250 nursery rhymes, including both well-known favourites and hidden gems, this collection has something for every child.