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Have a Real Live Poet in your class!

School Incursions by Cameron Semmens

For school children, the simplicity and brevity of poetry supports the development of language; and when read aloud, it encourages phonological awareness, vocabulary and fluency. Also, more than any other literary form, poetry provides an opportunity for students to express their thoughts and ideas, and to explore their identity and their place in world. Perhaps most importantly of all though, poetry is FUN! I am passionate about introducing children to the wonderfully traditions of writing and performing poetry.


To give students a positive, fun experience of poetry, and a sense of achievement through writing their very own poems!


Poetry Kick-starter – 1 session: a lively introduction to poetry (I'll perform some poems and get students writing their own).

Poetry Fundamentals – 3 or 4 sessions to cover the basics of writing poetry.

Performance Poetry Primer – 1 to 3 sessions developing the skills of performing poetry.

Customised Poetry Projects – longer-termed projects designed in consultation to fit in with your theme, event, students or curriculum.

Teachers Teaching Poetry - a workshop for teachers: giving helpful hints and links, useful activities and resources for teachers to feel confident teaching poetry modules at any level.

Poetry in The Wild – guided writing workshops in nature. 2 sessions: 1st in the field, 2nd in the classroom. I have a particular passion for exposing students to either the bush, or park, to reflect on nature in counterpoint to the city. Locations to be selected with consultation.


$650 for a whole day.

$500 for a half day (until lunchtime).

Long-term projects by negotiation.

Also, I'm located in Melbourne, but travel is possible by arrangement.


All Secondary. In Primary, Prep and up.


White board (preferred) or smart board for me.

Students to be at desks with pen and paper, or laptop.

Performance Poetry Primer needs a larger, open space to work in.


If you'd like to chat about your school's needs – or suggest an idea! – I'd love to hear from you on mobile (0438 72 55 88) or email ( My calendar fills up quickly, so the sooner the better!

Have a creatively adventurous year!


"We have been using Cameron as a part of our poetry units for a number of years now. The students love seeing him perform some of his poetry and get a new understanding of what a poet, and poetry, is through Cameron's workshops. Cameron has a wonderful way of introducing simple forms of poetry that make poetry accessible to all of the students and ensure they produce successful poetry themselves. By the end of the session the students see poetry as something more than just rhyming, soppy stuff for old people. The see in themselves the possibility of poetry.

We have had Cameron work with our students in both small group and whole class situations, from short introduction to poetry sessions to a large poetry project spanning over a couple of terms.

The students find Cameron clever, encouraging and non-threatening. They have really enjoyed working with him. I highly recommend him as a interactive and 'real' part our your exploration of poetry."

- MELISSA DYKSTRA, Year 5/6 Teacher, Mount Evelyn Christian School.         

"Cameron has a remarkable talent. The children were fascinated, rapt, amused, excited and promptly set about writing their own poems."

- COLIN PYEFINCH, Grade 3 Teacher, Lindisfarne North Primary School.

"Extremely engaging - he chose witty poems that really appealed to the students. His workshop was an excellent introduction to the study of poetry."

- EMMA CLARKSON, Middle School English Teacher, Methodist Ladies College.

"This is just what adolescents need to get them interested in poetry."

Coordinator, North Sydney Boys Grammar School Public Speaking Club.


"I really enjoyed the poetry workshop. It challenged me, it inspired me and equipped me with new skills to analyse, compose and perform poetry. It was brilliant!"  – LAURA, Grade 9, MLC.

"Cameron was a wonderful teacher. Working with him helped me to reignite my inner flame - my love of poetry." – HELEN, Grade 8, MLC.

"I really enjoyed the presentation of the poems and how to write our own poetry. I now have a better idea about what to do when I write my own poems." – CAITLIN, Grade 6, PLC.

"I used to think poetry was all that lovey dovey stuff. This gave me a new perspective. Mr. Semmens made this funny and interesting." – EILISH, Grade 6, PLC.

School Incursions: About
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