Jordie Albiston, ‘The Weekly Poem’ reviewed by English Teachers Association NSW
Jordie Albiston’s The Weekly Poem: 52 exercises in closed & open forms – review by RR in Reviews Issue 3 2016 (PDF) on the English Teachers Association NSW website
The Weekly Poem is a terrific resource for students of all ages, and a source of inspiration for teachers longing to nourish their inner poetic voice. It would complement a range of thematic studies across stages, with a range of carefully selected poems touching on issues such as coming of age, childhood, personal memory and self-discovery. Teachers seeking to expand their students’ understanding and appreciation of poetry in its many manifestations can locate an extensive list of poetic forms with a quick glance at the contents page; Albiston does the work for you by compiling a rich sampler of engaging exemplars of anthem, ballade, blank verse, ekphrastic, pantoum, monochord, senryu, tanka and villanelle, welcome additions to the usual fare of acrostics, ballads, haikus and sonnets (which can also be found in this text).
Each exercise incorporates one or more poems reproduced in full with brief notes on subject, form, rhyme scheme, metre and grammatical tense. In addition, each exercise contains a practical task and recommended further reading. The exercises are concise and open-ended, allowing for differentiation for writers of all abilities as an introductory warm-up or extension activity to encourage mastery.
There is a succinct glossary at the end, and a comprehensive bibliography that includes an impressive list of Australian and international poets from W.H. Auden to Peter Goldsworthy, Robert Gray and Judith Wright. Canadian singer-songwriter Leonard Cohen even makes an appearance.
The Weekly Poem has been available since 2014, and if you haven’t discovered it already, it’s worth acquiring a class set for your book room and a copy for yourself.