Last week Queensland poet, Zenobia Frost, took a virtual excursion to Wilderness School in South Australia as part of Red Room Poetry Object. Zenobia was first commissioned by The Red Room Company to write a 'talismanic' poem for the Poetry Object in 2013. Her poem, 'Civic Duty', inspired by the now extinct Civic Video store near her house, was one of the more curious objects of the project and sparked a lot of insterest from Year 8 students at Wilderness School.

The seed for this Skype reading session was planted by English Teacher, Ann Rooney. Ann approached Red Room with the idea of creating a virtual excursion to engage students in 'an authentic interaction with a poet'. A detailed teaching story and more student reflections like those below can be found at Ann's blog. Zenobia's notes from the workshop can also be found here. 

'The talk with Zenobia was really cool and I really enjoyed it. I learnt that it is good to add a rhythm as she explained when she showed us her Red Room poem. It had a rhythm of walking down the video store isle. Something that challenged my thinking was why she liked graveyards and how she uses them for her own enjoyment and also for her poems. I didn’t really consider that they held a lot of history. What surprised me about Zenobia is that she wrote humorous poems. I didn’t realise that she did this and it was interesting to find this out especially as I asked her the question myself. I think that is is good that we get to meet poets all around the world using Skype, because not so long ago this would have been impossible. Overall it was a great and educational experience and lots of fun!' 

The positive experience of all involved is a testament to the potential for ICT to connect school communities and poets across the country. We look forward to reading the special object poems that surface from Year 8 students as a result of these sessions.

Zenobia Frost is a poet engaged with Red Room Poetic Learning.

Zenobia Frost is a Brisbane-based writer whose work has appeared in Overland, Cordite, The Lifted Brow, Scum, and the Hunter Anthology of Contemporary Feminist Poetry. She is presently a Master’s candidate at QUT, researching placemaking in suburban Australian poetics... read more »