LAUNCH OF BLOOM
Good evening everybody. Thank you Sue for your kind words and I too would like to acknowledge the land on which we meet and pay respect to the ancestors, especially story tellers of the past, present and our future.
We are privileged to be sharing the Judith Wright room, named for one of our great Australian women poets of last century, an activist for indigenous rights, conservation and the environment.
There are a few new faces here so I introduce myself. My name is Colleen Keating . I belong to the Women Writers Network which meets every Wednesday in the Henry Lawson room of Writing NSW.
I feel privileged to be standing here to launch Decima’s beautiful poetry book BLOOM. As most of you know Decima has written many short stories. Her novel, Black Stockings, White Veil, celebrated the golden anniversary of her RPA hospital group, and was a Finalist in the 2014 Indie Book Awards fictional history category. She has published two other historical fiction novels, with one more to be published by Ginninderra Press in 2020.
Since the poet in Decima burst onto the scene I have been amazed at the poetry that pours out from her.
Decima draws on her nursing knowledge and on every day experiences, lives of people she observes . eg pg 42 in the poem Private . . .
She uses the powerful concrete image. and has found the pared back to the bone approach with its the maxim. . . writing less is more. eg in Don’t call me Madam (70)
shady lane/discreet sign /massage/my shoulder pain cries/step inside/ blinking i see/ skimpy-clad girls in a row/a hard-faced crone/man’s the desk/ Don’t you love that word man’s and you will have to red the poem to find the end.
Decima reminds us, the ordinary is poetic another way of saying that she finds the poetic in the ordinariness of life. eg in her poem Bluff (11)
“Dad doffed his sweat-stained het to the flies. Eyes closed he rested, dappled by kurrajong shade.”
She is a realist . . . takes day to day happenings and experiences and paints her picture with words., leaving the bigger issues as an understatement .
Notice in her poem Hands (16 ) col reads first 3 paras of ii.
The poet Jean Maria Rilke says “everything is gestation and then ‘bringing forth’”
and writing is a lot of that.
Firstly the gestation . . . . it’s a lonely trek, a long haul, a footslog, an odyssey sometimes lost in the bush, sometimes all at sea, sometimes desert-dry, sometimes writing energising but mostly it’s a solitary and gruelling chore
and then the ‘bringing forth . . .
the birthing sharing with the world, the unveiling like opening up a secret diary and throwing away the key .
and as a writing community we appreciate that and we are here to honour the loneliness of the long distance writer and here to celebrate the Decima’s very successful outcome
read fallen star pg. 130
When you write a poem, you write it for anybody and everybody. And you have to be ready to do that out of your single self. It’s a giving. . . .always . . . a gift. . . a gift to yourself but it s gift to anybody who has a hunger for it.
I like to think we all have the hunger for poetry and we honour those who give us this gift .
Here is Decima’s gift to us .
A new poetry book in our world.
Like a seed in the moistest earth
may it bloom and grow where it is planted .
And together Decima and I declare
launched and planted .