Michelle tells young people that poetry is like "making magic with words" and her sessions typically involve audience participation, enacting of poems and a lot of interaction.
I'm passionate about poetry and its potential to bring some magic into our lives. I believe that poetry can allow both young and old to express themselves more fully, and to appreciate themselves and the world around them with new wonder. I want those I work with to go away feeling two things - firstly energised, and secondly, empowered by words and their endless possibilities in our lives.
I've published poetry for children, young adults and adults. My books include:
If The World Belonged To Dogs (Children's poetry) UQP, 2007
If Bees Rode Shiny Bicycles (Children's poetry) UQP, 2003
Renovating (Poetry) Picaro Press, 2002
The Angel Of Barbican High (YA Verse novel) UQP, 2001
Bloom (Poetry), Vagabond Press, 2001
Word For Word (An inspirational workbook for writers and teachers of writing), Queensland Writers Centre, 2000
First Language (Poetry), Five Islands Press, 1999
I've received a lot of awards including:
If Bees Rode Shiny Bicycles voted one of the Top Titles for 2003 by The Australian Centre for Youth Literature
Australian Family Therapists Award for The Angel Of Barbican High as a book useful for therapists
Harri Jones Memorial Prize (for an Australian poet 35 years or under whose work in the field of poetry is judged to be outstanding)
I specialise in several areas including:
Performance poetry, for preschool through to primary
Poetry workshops for primary, high school and adults
Workshops using creative writing to promote self awareness and self confidence
My performances for the young allow many opportunities for children to interact with the poems, both through words and movements. I am also able to bring many years experience as an occupational therapist working in mental health to my workshops. Regardless of what age group I work with, I encourage participants to abandon negative preconceptions of poetry and fears, and to reclaim poetry as their own.
Michelle is also an occupational therapist with over 20 years' experience in the fields of mental health and addictions helping people to feel empowered and to make meaningful changes in their lives. She has a Bachelor of Occupational Therapy and Masters of Arts Research. One key way Michelle helps people who are struggling to change and to get motivated is Motivational Interviewing. This approach was developed by Professor Bill Miller and over the past few decades has amassed a great body of evidence to attest to its effectiveness. In essence instead of us telling people what to do, Motivational Interviewing uses skills to help the person argue for their own change.
Michelle has undergone training in Motivational Interviewing with Bill Miller. She uses Motivational Interviewing regularly in her practice and is an experienced trainer teaching others how they can bring this approach to whatever area of work they are in - be it counselling, teaching, health, corrections, relationships, corporate.
I just wanted to say a big thank you for your wonderful poetry writing workshop last week. It was exactly what we were hoping for and more. Your delivery of information and ideas around poetry really helped the children understand the importance of authorship, creative writing and in particular the possible structure of poems. The students also gained a lot of insight in to how they themselves could become little poets/writers. By giving them the opportunity to put pen to paper, the workshop was so successful, and the feedback from both the teachers and students has been extremely positive.
Our literacy focus and writing journey for the year now has so much more significant material to build on and we feel the students will benefit greatly from your expertise as an experienced poet.
Best of luck with your future writing endeavours, please feel free to send through any additional information about any of your upcoming works. And the students are so looking forward to your new poetry collections book.
Graceville State School - March 2019Graceville State School - March 2019Michelle Taylor
Staff & students were very happy with Michelle’s presentation. She was also very generous with sharing her ideas and presentation resources. The workshop was very well conducted as she did pitch her presentation to suit the audience.
Michelle Taylor - Grace Lutheran Primary School, August, 2013.Michelle Taylor - Grace Lutheran Primary School, August, 2013.Michelle Taylor
Just wanted to email you to let you know how much the students enjoyed your visit during Enrichment Day. Their comments were overwhelmingly positive.
Thanks for all your preparation and effort in creating the workshops that the children enjoyed.
Michelle Taylor - Robertson State School, 2012Michelle Taylor - Robertson State School, 2012Michelle Taylor
She goes into classrooms and wrests the attention of jaded young minds into her world of wonderment.
Michelle Taylor - The Courier MailMichelle Taylor - The Courier MailMichelle Taylor
Formerly I questioned my ability. Michelle's presentation clarified my thinking and I am excited.
Michelle Taylor - Workshop participantMichelle Taylor - Workshop participantMichelle Taylor