Creative champion

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A published anthology of pieces by Avondale students and professionals will encourage the former to write creatively as a career, says an award-winning local poet.

Jean Kent describes the quality of poetry in Here Not There, published by Puncher & Wattmann and launched October 26, as “extraordinary.” “The students write with so much clarity,” she says. Jean, a resident of Kilaben Bay, is the author of four books of poetry, two of which are national award and prize winners. Her work appears in Here Not There with that of the Creative Writing class. “If I had this kind of encouragement, I wouldn’t have hidden my poems away in drawers for quite so long.”

You’ll find poems that will cause us to laugh or lament, skip or stop, reminisce or reject as we ponder our present place, because all of us are here, not there.

Creative Writing student Jemma Galindo with head of the School of Humanities and Creative Arts Dr Robyn Priestly, to whom the students’ published anthology is dedicated. [Photo courtesy: Brenton Stacey]


Jemma Galindo took the class to discover whether she liked poetry. “We’ve learned to love the soul of it.” Adds classmate Sara Thompson: “If you peel away the layers, you can see a whole lot more that you didn’t see before.”

Both thank their mentors, Judith Beveridge, a lecturer in the Department of English at The University of Sydney and poetry editor of literary journal Meanjin, and Carolyn Rickett, a senior lecturer in communication at Avondale College of Higher Education. “Judith is so gentle,” says Jemma, “and Carolyn so supportive.”

Here Not There also features the work of professional poets such as Andy Kissane (right), who reads one of his pieces during the launch on Thursday. [Photo courtesy: Brenton Stacey]


Here Not There
 is dedicated to the head of the School of Humanities and Creative Arts, Dr Robyn Priestly, who has served at Avondale for almost 40 years. Associate Professor Daniel Reynaud, dean of the Faculty of Arts and Theology, speaks of her commitment to fostering and nurturing creativity and of her “sense of delight and wonder and awe. . . . Surely the soul of a poet.”

President Dr Ray Roennfeldt notes how the anthology illustrates the power of words and ideas. “You’ll find poems that will cause us to laugh or lament, skip or stop, reminisce or reject as we ponder our present place, because all of us are here, not there.”