Marco Gliori auditioned for the Queensland Arts Council in 1991, and was immediately offered a contract to tour Secondary Schools the following year. He went on to design a Primary School show as well, and over the following decade performed in excess of 2500 shows for both the Queensland and Victorian Arts Council. These were exhausting professional engagements, with Marco’s first Primary School tour on The Sunshine Coast lasting 8 weeks and comprising 120 x 60 minute shows to in excess of twenty thousand children. During this decade, many schools followed up wanting Marco to visit as a Writer in Residence, a service he offered for all ages,
Marco’s appeal was that he was a Performance Poet, so his Writing Workshops were a mix of writing and performance, the aim being that classes would see their original ideas and raw stories evolve through the drafting of a poem to the finished product, a performance in front of their classmates. Marco’s belief is that a poem is only half alive in a book and that it really comes to life when you take it out and share it with others.
“Primary School children are fantastic to work with in this process. They are usually very keen to get up on stage and perform, so the exhilaration at that possibility drives them through the workshops with great enthusiasm. I tell them poems, then have them acting out a poem, then launch into a series of word ‘theatre games’ I have designed myself. After having warmed them up, we then write, simple rhymes at first, and generally by that time I have no trouble spurring them on. My greatest thrill is walking to the staff room during a break and hearing children reciting marching poems and ditties they have written either by themselves or in groups, with the aim of auditioning for me in a later workshop, hoping to be selected to perform in the finale concert. It is exhausting work, but once I walk into a classroom I simply surrender, get down to their level, and before long they have swept me off into that wonderful field of dreams that I never tire of playing in”
As well as being published in Education manuals and curriculum books, many of the poems Marco publishes in his own books have been inspired by his visits to schools. Marco has published three books for children, culminating in Rise n Rhyme, a collection of 134 of his favourites. Marco has been a featured author at Somerset Literary Festival, Voices on The Range, Voices on the Coast and Whitsunday Voices, and this month was a featured presenter at The Ipswich Poetry Feast, and is a regular feature at Education conferences as a presenter.
WITHCOTT STATE SCHOOL
Marco's visit to our school was inspirational and helped put our school motto - "Real Learning through Real Experiences" into practice. He brought poetry to life with humour, empathy, family and pet stories, performing with passion and a little drama, everyday words that our students from prep to year 7 understood and related to. One of our most difficult children wrote a perfect poem, a child who is still grasping English wrote about an elephant with huge flapping ears, the preps created a poem, and three classes walked out of Marco's session and spent the rest of the day writing verse. They were really engaged by this consummate entertainer, who helped kick off several poetry units. It's safe to say many of the children will never forget him. They later quoted his comment that poetry is music without the notes, were extremely impressed with his ability to memorise so much, and asked if he'll be coming back. The teachers were just as effuse with their praise, and all considered it a most valuable experience. Thankyou Marco for showing our school that poetry is about writing, speaking, acting, and enjoying rather than something we kill through analysis, before we ever discover the power and the joy.
BRISBANE BOYS GRAMMAR
Marco Gliori is a professional presenter and hasÂ a great manner with our boys. His presentations are full of humour and encourage students to see poetry in a new and engaging way. Audience participation is a highlight. Marco has visited our school for many years and it is always a pleasure to welcome him back.