On Thursdays I teach two poetry classes at The Avenue Neighbourhood House in Blackburn South. The morning session is a poetry workshop. We usually begin with a writing exercise and then workshop work participants have brought in. Every so often we have two hours of hands-on writing exercises responding to different triggers. As this is a longstanding workshop group, the quality of workshopping is high and the group is very supportive and generous towards each other and newcomers. One of last year’s students won the Woorilla Poetry Prize open section with a poem workshopped in this class.

In the afternoon I teach an Exploring Poetry class – we’ve been slowly making our way through some of the major names in poetry and some of the major movements. Again, this is a longstanding group who are supportive of newcomers. We are currently looking at the work of Elizabeth Bishop, Robert Lowell, Sylvia Plath and Anne Sexton.

All you need to join either group is a high level of enthusiasm for poetry!

Some comments from participants:

Catherine is a gifted teacher who gives generously of her extensive knowledge of the poetry canon. I really value the feedback I have received from such an experienced and award-winning poet.
I have been attending Catherine’s poetry writing class for the past two years.Her classes are exciting, thought-provoking and stimulating. The source material she uses is always rich and challenging.
I have attended Catherine’s Exploring Poetry classes for about 18 months now. They are immensely enjoyable, and we have learnt so much about different poets from a wide variety of places and times. Catherine is incredibly enthusiastic and encouraging, and ever willing to communicate her knowledge. Her classes are a constant pleasure.
Catherine’s positive enjoyment of her work is contagious. An expert in her field she adapts to any unexpected twist or turn, providing pertinent information at a moment’s notice. She has a light inclusive touch when melding a group with various talents and experiences.
Your Exploring Poetry class is full of colour and interesting content which has been meticulously gathered to expand the class members understanding of poets and poetry.