Lorraine Marwood and husband, Kel at London High Tea

Today, an extraordinary poet and writerly friend, Lorraine Marwood is visiting to share her poetry tips.

Lorraine, the author of two verse novels and numerous poems is on a blog tour to celebrate the release of her fantastic new poetry collection, A Ute Picnic.

So far she has visited the following blogs:

Janeen Brian’s blog http://janeenjottings.blogspot.com/

Natalie Marwood’s blog http://eissua.blogspot.com/

Sally Murphy’s blog http://sallymurphy.blogspot.com/

Claire blog’s site today http://letshavewords.blogspot.com/

Lorraine started out writing stories then someone suggested that her natural voice could be poetry and she began to write poems for small literary magazines. Her first published book was a collection of poems called ‘Skinprint’ published by Five Islands Press.  And one of her first published works as a teenager was a poem.

I never thought that I could be a children’s poet – was always initially a literary poet.  But I did want to write for children, always.

I love the fact that a poem can be finished – well mostly finished in one sitting- it seemed to fit into my busy schedule when I was on the farm and now also.  Another aspect is the concentration of emotion and senses that can be packed into a poem.

Lorraine gets the ideas for her poetry from things she observes, something someone says, a feeling or an emotion. Lorraine says she likes the way poetry is spare in words yet conveys so much, so that means there needs to be a different angle and another layer of meaning added to the poem.

I also like the way something ordinary can be the subject of a poem.

Lorraine's new poetry collection

There has to be that inspiration – an observed incident, an emotion that needs concrete expression, a jotting down of words and lines until that satisfied sigh comes- then I write yes beside the poem and leave it in draft form for a week, a month and then come back to it with fresh eyes.

A title can take as long sometimes as the writing of the poem itself.

I believe a title is an integral part of the poem and rounds the whole morsel into a tasty gulp.   A poem also needs a strong line to grab our attention and a strong line to leave us with a lingering after taste.

Its hard to de-construct the process, I just know that for many years I wrote up to five small poems a day and that discipline now  helps me. If I sit down (and I must point out that I need pen and paper to compose. I rarely write a poem straight onto the computer) I usually come away with a good draft, even three or four poems that are usable.

Now I compose strategies to get children and adults writing by scaffolding the process. I have a great strategy called images which I love using to encourage people to write. I use this in upper primary  school, secondary school and with adults. It works really well.

I’d really like to do a book on the strategies I’ve composed and refined over the years and many have been published over four years in Literature Base.

Star Jumps has been shortlisted for the 2010 Prime Minister's Literary Awards


Observe the world around you and keep a notebook; a journal of words, ideas, thoughts emotions and dip into them when you need some layers or an initial idea for a poem.  And of course read lots of different poems.

Lorraine has online resources on her website: www.lorrainemarwood.com

I have a section called resources and in  there are strategies for different ways of writing poems.  Also on Monday to celebrate the release of A Ute Picnic, I put a two word technique up online as a free download.

The Walker website http://www.walkerbooks.com.au/ has teacher notes for three books I’ve had published with them so far and each time I’ve written a different technique to write poetry and its included with the teaching notes.

I also have an e-course for poetry that I’ve written available from http://www.fasttrackwriting.com/tutorials/powering-into-poetry.php

After Lorraine leaves my blog, other places she’ll be visiting include:

Wednesday 11th August   Sandy Fussell’s blog


Thursday 12th August  – Lorraine’s coming back here to give us more great poetry tips


Friday 13th August  Sheryl Gwyther’s blog:


Monday 16th August ‘A Ute Picnic’ will be visiting Kat Apel’s blog:


We hope you’ll come back to DeeScribe Writing on Thursday to hear Lorraine talking about  how to put together a poetry collection.


  1. Hi BookChook,

    Thanks for dropping in. Lorraine has some great tips and techniques for writing poetry. Can’t wait till Thursday when she talks about putting together her poetry collection.


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