I never completed high school. I have no formal qualifications in literature. Everything I have learnt about poetry is through trial and error – much like the rest of my life. This is what I tell my students Poetry is not about fancy words; it's about having something to say. I tell them that I wrote to get the confusion out of my body, that editing my words helped me understand what they meant. They roll their eyes and open their books and begin to write a poem that no one will ever see.

 The hardest part is getting started.

 “But I can't remember anything miss.”

I ask him about where he grew up.

“On the station”

“And what was that like? Think about your senses; how does the air feel, how does it smell?”

By the end of the lesson he has written a poem about heat and freedom.

The best poetry comes from unexpected places; the shy girl with the headphones who wrote about seeing her baby brother dead, the tough looking fella at the back of the class who mused about the insects of his childhood. Two young men co-wrote a poem about taking their first mark in footy – how they felt like cheetahs with a gut full of meat.

“Oh miss, I'm just gonna write poetry about footy all the time now. It's so easy cos there's so much to say.”

Write what you know.