Tūhono 2021 is Live!

The day has finally come — Tūhono 2021, the latest volume in our poetry journal for (and by) young Wellingtonians, has officially been released into the world as of the 1st of March 2022. Over 200 young poets aged 5-18 contributed this time around, so we decided to split the book into two volumes — one containing the poems written by kids, and the other containing those written by teens. Head on over to OverDrive or Libby to check out the kids’ version — you can find the teens’ one here.

We are having physical copies printed as well, so soon you’ll be able to find Tūhono 2021 on the shelf at your local public or school library. We’re also giving two copies to the National Library of New Zealand, where they will be preserved for the rest of time (the legal term is ‘in perpetuity’) as part of the cultural heritage of this country. We think that’s an awesome achievement for all of you who wrote poems for the book. Congratulations on being published!

We think that this year’s colour palette is particularly beautiful.

There are some wonderful people who work for the library who need to be thanked for their efforts in creating this year’s edition of TūhonoStephanie (my partner-in-crime, and the amazing librarian who buy all the kids’ books for the library), Ligia (she designed the book — what an amazing talent she has!), Maggie (she helped collect and format your poems), Joseph (he helped with editing), Monty (he makes it possible for us to publish stuff online), Bridget (who writes the catalogue records that make it possible to find stuff at the library) and Celeste (who looks after our website). Hats off and a round of applause for these talented librarians who are helping to make our dream of publishing our very own poetry journal a reality!

Go forth and read! You’ll laugh, you’ll cry, and maybe — just maybe — you’ll feel a connection, a sense of tūhono, with everyone else who put a little something of themselves into this incredible book.


Tūhono: A journal of poetry by Wellington children / 2021
“Whakaata : reflection. This theme links all of the poems in this second edition of Tūhono, which were contributed by young Wellington poets aged 5-12 and collected by Wellington City Libraries throughout October and November 2021. Poems by writers aged 13-18 are collected in a separate volume.

The year 2021 provided us all with plenty of opportunities to reflect. What’s really important? What falls by the wayside when times are tough? What do you see looking back at you when you gain the courage to hold the mirror up to the light? Anxious, loving, hopeful, angry, quirky, imagistic, insular, exuberant – these poems are a kaleidoscope. At one end we put in our certainties and our questions, our need to understand and to express. As for what we see at the other end? Well, you’re reading it.

WCL would like to thank Kimi Ora School for generously providing beautiful artworks created by their students to accompany their poems.” (Catalogue)

Tūhono 2021 — Submission Deadline Extended

It’s still Tūhono season, and the poems have been rolling in — we love to see it! However, we’ve been hearing that after the school holidays (and a recent, brief outage of our submissions page) some people might need just a little bit more time to pull their poems together before they’re ready to be submitted.

Here at Wellington City Libraries, we understand that sometimes good art takes time — so we’ve decided to extend the submission deadline for Tūhono 2021 for an extra two weeks, until 11.59pm on Sunday 14 November.

We hope you appreciate the additional time you now have to complete your masterpieces — and don’t forget to check out our other blog posts if you need inspiration!

Submissions for Tūhono 2021 are now closed. Thank you to everyone who submitted.

Tūhono: A Sample of Poetical Delights

Exciting times — there are still a few days left to submit your poem for Tūhono 2021, our poetry journal for children and teens in Wellington. This year the theme is “whakaata | reflection” — and we’ve already seen some amazing poems come through. Note: submissions for Tūhono 2021 have now closed. Thank you to everyone who submitted.

To help give you some inspiration, we thought we would share with you some of our favourite poems from last year’s volume, Tūhono 2020. Read on, and prepare to be blown away!

1. My Butterfly Journey — Ronan, age 5

Full text of poem written below.
My Butterfly Journey

I can’t move
I’m in a chrysalis
I will have butterfly powers when I come out

I will go where the butterflies go
I will lay eggs
Then I will die

The caterpillar will do the journey back home

— Ronan, age 5

2. The Verselet Tree — Amelia, age 9

Full text of poem is written below.
The Verselet Tree

Wise, knowing and smart,
When I sit beneath you I feel safe,
warm and comforted this feeling makes
me want to drift off in a slow and
steady sleep,
but before I do, a thought comes to my
mind,
the thought grows as I sleep,
When I wake the thought has formed
into a poem.
As I wander home,
I think of the poem and decide to write
it down,
And then I will go back and get
another poem from you.

— Amelia, age 9

3. Connection — Jericho, age 11

Full text of poem is written below.
Connection

I have a connection to music,
as if it’s part of my life,
as it follows the beat of my heart,
over and over again.
It lives deep inside me,
it burns inside my heart,
as an eternal flame,
raging on inside of me.
It shocks my soul,
It runs thru my body,
It harmonises my life,
As if when I listen to it
all fear and pain go away.
Music electrifies my very existence.

— Jericho, age 11

4. Connected — Pemma, age 12

Full text of poem is written below.
Connected

A thread, a rope,
The invisible link between us all,
Connected by soul,
The whispering call.

Shining stars twinkle above,
Our ancestors watching,
With the eye of the crescent moon.

Nature’s melody,
The sweet birds,
Our link with Papatūānuku
Has always been heard.

A thread, a rope,
A quiet trail,
Linked together, connected.

— Pemma, age 12

5. Little One — Rajvi, age 5

Full text of the poem is written below
Little One

Go to sleep little one
no need to cry
we will be there for you forever ……
oh my baby
go to sleep little one ….
O ho ho ……
Just go to sleep little one

— Rajvi, age 5 (written on 15/10/20 for her younger brother, born on 11/10/20)

Tūhono Submissions Are Now Open!

The 1st of October has finally arrived, and so we have officially opened submissions for Tūhono 2021, our annual poetry journal for children and teens! Visit wcl.govt.nz/tuhono to read the guidelines and submit your poem on this year’s theme of “Whakaata | Reflection.” We are so excited to read your entries this year — just make sure you get them in before the 14th of November! Note: Submissions for Tūhono 2021 have now closed. Thank you to everyone who submitted.

To help you get inspired, Stephanie, one of the editors of Tūhono, has put together this list of awesome poetry books for kids. Why not reserve one to pick up at your local library? They just might give you the help you need to get started on your masterpiece!


Tūhono. a journal of poetry by children and teens / 2020 :
“Tūhono : connection. This is the theme that binds together all 197 poems you are about to read, which were contributed by young Wellington writers aged 5-18 and collected by Wellington City Libraries throughout the month of November 2020. The year 2020 was challenging for many people. Some had to spend time apart from their friends and the people they love. Some had to find ways to live with uncertainty and the sense that everything might not be okay in the world. But taken together, these poems represent a constellation of thoughts, ideas, worries, anxieties, hopes, loves, and dreams about how we find ways to connect, even in the face of adversity.” (Catalogue)

A treasury of NZ poems for children
This award-winning book includes poems by many of Aotearoa’s best and most well-known children’s authors, including Margaret Mahy, Hone Tuwhare and Denis Glover. A wonderful, comprehensive collection to delve into again and again.

A world full of poems / Vardell, Sylvia M
Wow this book has just about everything! It covers all sorts of different poetry styles and themes (like sport, science and friendship) and mixes well known historical poems with more contemporary selections. And then there’s the beautiful detailed illustrations, included along with activities and ideas to inspire you create your very own poetry.

Can I touch your hair? : poems of race, mistakes, and friendship / Latham, Irene
This thought-provoking book explores race from the perspective of two kids that start off as strangers and become friends. As well as showcasing wonderful poetry, this book also highlights how powerful poetry can be in helping us to give voice to and understand different life experiences.

Feel a little : little poems about big feelings / Palmer, Jenny
This lovely book, written right here in Aotearoa, uses poetry as a way to understand and work through all sorts of big feelings. Poems are accompanied by cute different shaped and coloured characters that represent each feeling.

My first book of haiku poems : a picture, a poem and a dream : classic poems by Japanese haiku masters
Haiku is a type of short form poetry that follows a pre-determined pattern and are pretty fun to write! Haiku originated from Japan and this book introduces 20 classic poems that speak to the connection we have with nature. Poems are written in both Japanese and English and are accompanied by original paintings.

My village : rhymes from around the world
What places are your family from? This book has rhymes originating from 22 different countries around the world. Maybe you’ll discover one or two that are special to you and your family? The rhymes are written both in the original language and English. An interesting and fun glimpse into different cultures and countries through poems and rhymes.

Poems aloud / Coelho, Joseph
A really fun and funny book of riddles, rhymes and tongue twisters! Includes 20 poems by the award-winning poet Joseph Coelho as well as tips and techniques to help you bring your own poems to life in front of an audience. This would be a great book to share with a friend 😊

Poems from a green & blue planet
This stunning book celebrates our planet and the diversity of life that can be found on Earth. Explore mountaintop peaks, forests, deserts, deep blue oceans and discover all the animals and people that call this place home. You’ll find lots of different styles of poetry to enjoy as well – from haikus to sonnets, from rap to love poems.

Poems out loud! : first poems to read and perform
The poems in this book demand to be spoken OUT LOUD! Featuring poetry from award winning poets as well as hip-hop artists and spoken-word performers, this exciting collection will have you laughing, thinking and joining in! Includes a CD so you can listen to the performances yourself – and maybe even get a few tips!

Also available as an eAudiobook.

This poem is a nest / Latham, Irene
This beautiful book introduces children to the concept of found poetry. The author writes a 37-line poem, “Nest,” then finds 160 smaller poems or “nestlings” within it. The nestlings cover a wide variety of topics – from emotions and wild animals to planets and natural wonders. A wonderfully creative book that also includes tips on how to write to your own found poem.

Also available as an eBook.

Tiger, tiger, burning bright!
Do you love animals by any chance? Well if you do, this is most definitely the poetry book for you! An animal poem for every day of the year – that is a mind boggling 366 poems! (366 to take into account leap years) Included are both classic and contemporary poems that have been brought together from around the world. Bonus – the illustrations in this book are SPECTACULAR!

Woke : a young poet’s call to justice / Browne, Mahogany L.
A vibrant collection of poems tackling social justice issues to inspire and empower kids to create their own poetry and speak out on issues that are important to them.

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!

Tūhono Returns This October

We have some exciting news to share with you — this October and November, we will again be inviting Wellington poets aged 5-18 to submit poems to our journal, Tūhono. Next week we will be sharing more details with you, including the new theme, the submission deadline, and other cool stuff — so why not take the time now to get inspired by checking out Tūhono 2020 on OverDrive?

Tūhono is Wellington City Libraries’ very own poetry journal for young poets aged 5-18. 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 first came into being last year, and was a roaring success, with nearly 200 of you submitting poetry on the theme of ‘connection’ during the month of November and being published in the inaugural volume. We can’t wait to see what you create this time.

Once you’ve checked out the original Tūhono, why not check out some of our other poetry eBooks for Kids? We’ve added some of our favourites below!

Overdrive cover Tūhono 2020, Wellington City Libraries (ebook)

Tūhono : connection. This is the theme that binds together all 197 poems you are about to read, which were contributed by young Wellington writers aged 5-18 and collected by Wellington City Libraries throughout the month of November 2020. The year 2020 was challenging for many people. Some had to spend time apart from their friends and the people they love. Some had to find ways to live with uncertainty and the sense that everything might not be okay in the world. But taken together, these poems represent a constellation of thoughts, ideas, worries, anxieties, hopes, loves, and dreams about how we find ways to connect, even in the face of adversity. (Overdrive description)

Overdrive cover When We Were Very Young, A. A. Milne (ebook)

Composed of dozens of poems by the author who has delighted generations of children and adults alike with characters such as Winnie-the-Pooh, Christopher Robin, Piglet, and Eeyore, When We Were Very Young is a warm, whimsical journey through childhood that includes such classic verses as “Halfway Down,” “Teddy Bear” (which introduced Pooh to the world), “At the Zoo,” “The King’s Breakfast,” “Shoes and Stockings,” and “Buckingham Palace,” plus many more. (Overdrive description)

Overdrive cover Poems Aloud, Joseph Coelho (ebook)

Poems are made to read OUT LOUD! Perfect for confident children and shy readers alike, this book teaches all sorts of clever ways to performing poetry. Children will learn 20 techniques for reading aloud by trying out 20 funny and thoughtful original poems by the much-loved and award-winning performance poet, Joseph Coelho. There are tongue twisters, poems to project, poems to whisper, poems to make you laugh. There are poems to perform to a whole class and others to whisper in somebody’s ear. Richly textured, warm and stylish illustration by Daniel Gray-Barnett bring each page to life. (Adapted from Overdrive description)

Overdrive cover Is This a Poem?, Roger Stevens (ebook)

Do you like poems? Are you sure you know what one is?!
Join popular poet Roger Stevens for a trip through the different types of poetry: from advertising jingles to football chants, and from free verse to rap. Then, why not have a go at writing a poem of your own? (Overdrive description)

Overdrive cover Old Possum’s Book of Practical Cats, T. S. Eliot (ebook)

Cats! Some are sane, some are mad and some are good and some are bad.

Meet magical Mr Mistoffelees, sleepy Old Deuteronomy and curious Rum Tum Tugger. But you’ll be lucky to meet Macavity because Macavity’s not there! In 1925 T.S. Eliot became co-director of Faber & Faber, who remain his publishers to this day. Throughout the 1930s he composed the now famous poems about Macavity, Old Deuteronomy, Mr Mistoffelees and many other cats, under the name of ‘Old Possum’. In 1981 Eliot’s poems were set to music by Andrew Lloyd Webber as Cats which went on to become the longest-running Broadway musical in history. (Adapted from Overdrive description)

Overdrive cover The Further Adventures of the Owl and the Pussy-cat, Julia Donaldson (Audiobook)

Gruffalo author Julia Donaldson revisits Edward Lear’s favourite rhyme in this wonderful audio edition of a new story set in a nonsensical land full of adventure. When their beautiful golden ring is stolen, the Owl and the Pussy-cat must travel far from the safety of the Bong-tree glade as their search for the thief leads them across the Sea, to the Chankly Bore and beyond…This lovely audio download features a reading of the poem by Julia Donaldson and a performance of the poem set to music, written and performed by Julia Donaldson (vocals) and Malcolm Donaldson (guitar). (Overdrive description)

World Poetry Day: 21 March 2021

What I say is: “Yay for this day”, becauseSunday 21 March is World Poetry Day!

This special day was adopted by UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization) in 1999 to encourage and keep alive poetry and verse in its many forms and languages throughout the world. Poetry has been around since ancient times, with this form of expression being part of a rich oral history in many cultures. Today poetry can be as diverse and vibrant as the cultures that write, read and speak it, and even the simplest verse can be a catalyst for change in a community.  Just think how powerful the recital of “The Hill We Climb” by Amanda Gorman at President Joe Biden’s inauguration in January 2021 was, and you’ll get some sense of the power of poetry. Speaking before the inauguration, Amanda said: “Poetry is a weapon, it is an instrument of social change. Poetry is one of the most political arts out there.”

At Wellington City Libraries, 2021 has seen an exciting focus on children and youth poetry with our inaugural edition of Tūhono: A journal of poetry by children and teens / 2020 now out on the shelves and e-library for you to borrow. All the poems in this volume were written by Wellington kids and teens, with the poetry reflecting on ‘connection’ and what that means for them in these turbulent times. Some are inward looking, some look to the universe and the future. Some are sad, some are happy. Some are short and some are long, but all are about connection:

Book Jacket for: Tūhono. a journal of poetry by children and teens / 2020 :For connection you must first love
and create relationships.

Feel empathy, care
and show compassion to others.

Make a link,
Make a bond,
Make a friend.

You can’t make connections without people.

So love,
And share your love.

(By William, aged 8)


Verse is here for you
Just check our website for more
You will be amazed…

What is poetry? : the essential guide to reading & writing poems / Rosen, Michael
“A detailed and very personal guide to reading and writing poetry by one of the country’s leading children’s poets. Over many years as a working poet, Michael Rosen has thought a great deal about what poems are, what they can do and the pleasure that comes from writing and reading poetry. In this invaluable handbook, he shares this knowledge and experience in book form for the very first time. Starting with a detailed analysis of a number of classic poems, he offers a real “writer’s guide” to writing and performing poems, as well as a wealth of technical information and tips.” (Catalogue)

Feel a little : little poems about big feelings / Palmer, Jenny
“Feel A Little is a colourful, character-filled book about big feelings for little ones. Youth emotional and mental health are huge issues in our communities, with children maturing earlier and facing an isolating modern world with modern challenges. As a community we need to start focussing on understanding and encouraging communication around feelings from an early age – equipping children with the tools they need to best face the ups and downs (and in-betweens) of life. Parents, caregivers and educators need a variety of ways to encourage these conversations and the safe space of engaged reading together is a proven, effective beginning. Feel A Little creates poetic and imaginative word prompts and a visual language for emotions, providing a starting point for discussions that you can come back to again and again.” (Catalogue)

Tiger, tiger, burning bright!
“A breathtaking, illustrated anthology featuring an animal poem for every day of the year by award-winning artist, Britta Teckentrup.” (Adapted from Catalogue)

With my hands : poems about making things / VanDerwater, Amy Ludwig
“Brief, lively poems illustrated by a New York Times-bestselling duo invite young makers and artists to tap into creativity and enjoy the hands-on energy that comes from making things.” (Adapted from Catalogue)

Poems aloud / Coelho, Joseph
“A wittily illustrated anthology of poems, written to be read aloud. 20 poems arm children with techniques for lifting poetry off the page and performing with confidence. Poems are made to read OUT LOUD! There are tongue twisters, poems to project, poems to whisper, poems to make you laugh. There are poems to perform to a whole class and others to whisper in somebody’s ear.” (Catalogue)

100 best poems for children
“A collection of the very best poems for children, edited by Roger McGough.” (Adapted from Catalogue)

Tūhono is Live!

The day has finally come — Tūhono, our poetry journal for young Wellingtonians, has officially been released as of the 11th of January 2021! Nearly 200 of you took part, so head on over to OverDrive or Libby to borrow it now!

We are having physical copies printed as well, so soon you’ll be able to find Tūhono 2020 on the shelf at your local public or school library. We will also be giving two copies to the National Library of New Zealand, where they will be preserved for the rest of time (the legal term is ‘in perpetuity‘) as part of the cultural heritage of this country. What a fantastic achievement for everyone who contributed!

Two-page spread from the Tūhono eBook, featuring poems by Jordan, 11, and Esther, 8.

A small sample of what you can expect to find in Tūhono.

There are some very important people whom I would like to thank — Stephanie Poulopoulos (my partner-in-crime, and the amazing librarian who buys all of the kids’ and teens’ books for our collection), Ligia Horta (who designed the book — what an amazing talent she is!), Monty Masseurs (who helped get everything set up online), Bridget Jennings (who wrote the catalogue record for the book, making sure you can actually find it online), and Celeste Mackintosh (who helped organise the online submissions throughout the month of November 2020). Hats off and a round of applause for these wonderful, talented librarians who helped make our dream of publishing our own book of poetry a reality!

Go forth and read! You’ll laugh, you’ll cry, and maybe — just maybe — you’ll feel connected with everyone else who put something of themselves into this incredible book.

Tūhono: Some More of Our Favourites!

Kia ora! Many thanks and a massive congratulations to all of you who submitted poems to Tūhono, our new poetry journal for children and teens in Wellington. Altogether we had about 200 poems, all of which are going into the final book, which is currently being put together by our talented editorial team! We’ll let you know when it’s all ready to read.

While you’re waiting for the book to arrive on the shelves (or on your screens, if you use the eLibrary), we thought we’d share with you three of our favourite poems written by kids that are going into the book. As you’ll see, they all explored the theme of “tūhono — connection” very differently indeed!

The first poem, View from Matiu Somes, is by Isla, age 11. We were super excited by Isla’s exploration of the connection between place and history, and the powerfully evocative images she uses to paint a picture of how our perception of Matiu/Somes Island is changed by the forces of nature, the events of history, and our emotional reactions to those things. Here’s Isla’s poem:


View From Matiu Somes

White horses tip the waves
But inevitably will collapse
Under the weight of the tide.
I know they are destined
to wreck themselves
on the shoreline.

The only light blazing
from a crocheted throw of
stars placed precisely on a
pitch-black midnight sky.
Glimmering prisms.

Thick metal bars cut
across my line of sight.
The thick stench of grime
and urine fills my nostrils.
Brusque voices ring down
the corridor.
Are they coming for me?

I’m shaking.
My hands, covered in blue, purple bruises
and raw cuts from
Moving heavy rocks from one
side of the island to the other.
We are building roads
I will never use.

I hate this place.

— Isla, age 11


Our next poem is by Ronan, age 5, and is called My Butterfly JourneyRonan’s delightful poem imagines what life would be like as a caterpillar, then a cocoon, then a butterfly, and teaches us a lot about the connections we experience at different stages of our lives:


My Butterfly Journey

I can’t move
I’m in a chrysalis
I will have butterfly powers when I come out

I will go where the butterflies go
I will lay eggs
Then I will die

The caterpillar will do the journey back home

— Ronan, age 5


The third poem we wanted to highlight is simply entitled connectionand is written by Jericho, age 11. Jericho’s powerful tūhono with music is so inspiring to read about, and his use of language is always fresh, exciting, and evocative:


connection

I have a connection to music,
as if it’s a part my life,
as it follows the beat of my heart,
over and over again.
It lives deep inside me,
it burns inside my heart,
as an eternal flame,
raging on inside of me.
It shocks my soul
It runs thru my body,
It harmonises my life,
As if when I listen to it
all fear and pain go away.
Music electrifies my very existence.

— Jericho, age 11


The fourth poem is by Elena, age 7, and is called Two BirdsWe loved this quirky poem that contrasts two very different characters — and in doing so, draws connections between them:


Two Birds

My early bird has wings that shine like butter
My early bird has wings that flutter
My early bird has a body pictured like the pale morning sky
My early bird can fly so high
It can touch the moon

My late bird is cocooned up in its warm cosy nest
My late bird likes to sleep in and rest
My late bird sleeps until spring
Wow my late bird really needs an alarm clock – BING!

— Elena, age 7


The last poem we are highlighting today is called The Verselet Tree by Amelia, age 9. We thought this poem did a really fantastic job of writing about writing itself — not the easiest thing to do — and really excelled at finding a connection between a physical place and the mental and emotional state of feeling creative and inspired enough to write a poem. It really speaks to the whole point of Tūhono in the first place! Ka rawe, Amelia.


The Verselet Tree

Wise, knowing and smart,
When I sit beneath you I feel safe,
warm and comforted this feeling makes me want to drift off in a slow and steady sleep,
but before I do, a thought comes to my mind,
the thought grows as I sleep,
When I wake the thought has formed into a poem.
As I wander home,
I think of the poem and decide to write it down,
And then I will go back and get another poem from you.

— Amelia, age 9

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!