Dear Members,

Well here we go again, Lockdown Number 4. I hope everyone is faring well this time round. Victorians are certainly becoming old hands at this business and once again Society members embraced the online Zoom technology to join the monthly meeting on Friday 28th May.

During Friday’s meeting, members were treated to a fantastic poetry workshop by Jane Downing. Many of you will recall that Jane Downing presented at the For the Love of Writing Festival earlier in the year.

Jane was born in Australia but was taken to live on Manus Island three weeks later. She has since lived in Tanzania, Ireland, Indonesia, the (then) USSR, China, the Marshall Islands and Guam, as well as Australia. While living and working in the Marshall Islands, where truth was often stranger than fiction, she began to write. This inspiration led her to write numerous poems, short stories and novels which have been published in journals around Australia and overseas and various publishing houses. More information about Jane can be found HERE.

Jane started the workshop with an overview of poetry and its different forms and discussed some of the reasons why people write poetry before asking participants to find an object in their homes to use as a  source of inspiration. Participants returned with a broad range of objects from building materials to keep roof tiles in place, gum nuts, balls of wool to an eraser and a iPod case. Participants then used these objects to start creating a poem. It was a very interesting and inspiring process and despite working against the clock some participants came up with almost full length poems in the time allowed.

Thank you, Jane, for your presentation. A recording of the workshop will shortly be available on the Society’s YouTube channel for those members who were unable to join the meeting or those of you who would like to watch the workshop again. 

‘Creativity against the clock’ elicits different responses in people. Some people feel stifled, others relish the challenge of working towards a deadline. Now that we are in lockdown again and we are unable to go out and about, I hope members are able to find some time to put their pens to paper and enter a poem (up to 50 lines) to the Kathryn Purnell Poetry Prize. The closing date is the 4th June so the clock is ticking! There is further information below. Perhaps some members will continue to develop the poem they started working on in Jane’s workshop and submit it for the prize…

Still on the subject of poetry, this week’s postcard is from member Paulette Dubé, a poet and writer. Paulette’s postcard about the Canada goose and the incomprehensible migration geese, and other birds, make each each, is written in poetic form. While we are restricted from travelling, birds can still fly. Imagining the flight of the geese, what geese see, hear, experience along the way, is the ultimate in armchair travel.
Until next week, happy writing,


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