Comet Bay poet a finalist

Jake DietschSound Telegraph
Ron Barton: Comet Bay College teacher and published poet Ron Barton has been shortlisted as a finalist in the national Red Room Poetry Object 2020 competition.
Camera IconRon Barton: Comet Bay College teacher and published poet Ron Barton has been shortlisted as a finalist in the national Red Room Poetry Object 2020 competition. Credit: Picture: Bill Thomsen

A local English teacher has achieved national recognition for a poem inspired by his passion for LEGO.

Comet Bay College English teacher Ron Barton’s piece, 1x4 Brick, is one of 10 poems in the teacher category of the Red Room Poetry Object 2020 contest.

Mr Barton is already a published poet, but he was nonetheless “flabbergasted” to be shortlisted.

“To be in the final 10 is phenomenal,” he said.

“My kids and I watched LEGO Masters together and it rekindled their love of LEGO.

“They would spread their bricks all over the floor, sorting through them to try and find the right piece for whatever they were building.

“I’d watch them or build alongside them and it reminded me of when I would play with LEGO with my stepdad. This poem is really a reflection of those treasured memories.”

The competition is one of Australia’s largest free poetry-writing contests for students and teachers.

The winner receives $500 cash, a $100 book pack, magazine subscriptions and the opportunity to be mentored by judge Eleanor Jackson.

Mr Barton said he hoped the piece would inspire his students to express their thoughts and feelings through the art of poetry. “It’s (work) you can create and consume in a moment,” he said. “As such, it’s the perfect medium for someone who wants to write but doesn’t have the time, or patience, for larger projects.”

Winners of the Red Room Poetry Object 2020 will be announced on August 20.

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