Year 4 students Jackson Wicks, Mercie Ogden, Charlotte Walden, Flint Knight with author Steve Herrick (Photo: St John’s)

September 2, 2020

Students in Years 3 to 6 at St John’s Lutheran School in Kingaroy were treated to a morning of literacy and laughter when Australian author Steven Herrick visited on Tuesday morning.

Mr Herrick writes fiction, poetry and verse-novels for children and young adults and performs his poetry in schools and at festivals across the country and overseas.

He told the students he decided to become a poet at 18 after he won $5 for a poem he had published in a magazine.

“I’ve never worked another job and I’m now 61 years old,” he said.

The poems he performed covered a range of subjects, ranging from going to the footy with Dad to family dinners and “10 things your teacher would never say to you”.

Librarian Tracey Tunstall said Mr Herrick’s performance demonstrated just how enjoyable literacy can be.

“It’s easy to get bogged down in the nuts and bolts of reading and writing but once you’ve got the basic tools, playing around with words and language can be lots of fun,” Mrs Tunstall said.

“So much of what Steve writes is based on his observations of everyday life and I really hope that his visit today will inspire a few students to pick up a pen and have a stab at writing their own poetry.”

Mr Herrick’s visit to St John’s follows a visit to the school by author and entertainer Gregg Dreise last week.

“We love offering our students the opportunity to meet authors like Steve and Gregg who’ve experienced success as writers. Their enthusiasm for what they do is infectious,” Mrs Tunstall said.

Mr Herrick lives in the Blue Mountains west of Sydney but has been travelling in Queensland for the past few months.

He’s now on his way to Cairns to visit his son, journalist Joe Gorman, who is a finalist in the 2020 Queensland Literary Awards which are due to be announced on September 4.

Joe’s book, “Heartland – How Rugby League Explains Queensland”, has been shortlisted for a Queensland Premier’s Award.

Students listen entranced as Steve Herrick shares one of his verses (Photo: St John’s)


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