Year 9 English Incursion – Australian Poet, Steven Herrick – Tuesday 17 September


Our year group was privileged to welcome Australian poet and author, Steven Herrick to our school to speak to us, regarding the concepts and meanings of his books, specifically ‘The Simple Gift’. This open discussion involved questions from numerous curious students to Mr Herrick, mainly surrounding his career, the allegorical messages he wanted to communicate through the poems and the inspiration for the storyline. Steven Herrick thoroughly explained the ideology of ‘Materialism vs Spiritualism’ , as it concerns the significance of many spiritual values, including the generosity and kindness within ‘The Simple Gift’, therefore, the effect of the analogy towards the whole plot of the story. Additionally, he spoke about how some of the events within ‘The Simple Gift’ were loosely based on and depicted from his own life. 

Steven Herrick expressed the impact of the use of a free verse poem and in particular, to reveal the thoughts of the characters with their internal monologues  in ‘The Simple Gift’, without a structured form of writing. The subject of spiritual growth and independence was discussed, as Mr Herrick acknowledged the importance of decisions within an individual’s life and linking this with the characters opinions towards material and spiritual gifts. Overall, it was an engaging examination and conversation over multiple ideas communicated in ‘The Simple Gift’ and was an interesting and exciting experience to participate in this opportunity to openly speak about the book with Steven Herrick himself.

Article by Zoe Stamoulis 
Illustration by Natalie Milenkovski