Thursday, January 31, 2013

Women's Work - Poetry Collection - International Women's Day Event in partnership with The State Library of NSW

I have been working for over two years with Rachael Bailey collecting poetry from Australian women poets with the idea of launching Women's Work on International Women's Day. We're thrilled to have the fine voices of established poets and welcome fresh new voices in what we consider to be a unique collection.

Professor Elizabeth Webby will host the celebration of Women's Work: a Collection of Contemporary Women's Poetry at The State Library of NSW on International Women's Day, 8th March at 6pm. I will give a brief overview of the process from idea to book, followed by talks and readings by some of the poets from the collection.

I'm more than pleased at the quality of the contributions and the insight into women's lives as well as the chance to mark International Women's Day in this way through poetry. This event is done in partnership with The State Library of NSW.

Published below is a note from the editors which gives an overview of our intentions and a glimpse of our beautiful cover.

Women’s Work began with an idea that it would be revelatory to hear the thoughts of contemporary Australian women through their poetry on the theme of work. A call for such poetry through Australian Poetry Ltd and to writing groups and centres across Australia meant we found the diversity we sought, that moved from the domestic to the workplace, to relationships of all kinds.

We thought it important to hear fresh voices and gain insights into poets of various cultural backgrounds and experience. In fact, we were struck by the range: from well-known poets, to the lesser known and the unknown, who wished to make their contributions.

Thoughtfulness, longing, anger, humour and joy all feature as they should in good poetry, but the range of poems making up this collection gives a unique opportunity to hear powerful reflections on both work from the past or work as we know it now, be it at home, or  in the workplace. We have gathered these poems in this way, with special care given to design and presentation, to give testament to the indefatigable spirit of women and to poetry itself.

Australia Day 2013

Nowra in the Shoalhaven area was our destination for this year's Australia Day. I travelled with friend Pat Granville-Smith through idyllic landscape despite the ravages of fire in nearby bushland. On the evening of the 24th, twenty five people attended a lively workshop in Nowra Library where I encouraged poetry writing as a pre-cursor to the events of Australia Day. I find it's always heartening to find a dedicated group of writers in country areas from big towns to tiny hamlets and always make this part of my Australia Day celebration.

The Australia Day gig was in the very picturesque Nowra Showground which had an amazing local fair despite overcast skies. In the air-conditioned hall under the historic grand stand, after listening to the mayor  Jo Gash's  address we were part of the very moving citizenship ceremony as well as the community awards before I gave my Australia Day address to over 200 people. Then it was outside to the fun of the fair again and a visit to the nearby Nowra Museum ended a satisfying day.

Nowra Museum