SourceMemory Book : Portraits of Older Australians in Poetry and Watercolours
Pagination1 - 205
Place of publicationBrisbane, Queensland
Research statementThese poetic biographies celebrate older Australians and their contributions to society and culture. This project was funded by a VicArts and Australia Council Grant. These important people in our community epitomise resilience and strength. They also possess a great deal of knowledge and have important and complex stories to tell. Wanting to enshrine a range of these stories, we (Wilkinson and I) decided to interview older Australians and compose poetic biographies based on the interviews. We believe poetry is transformative and has the power to enact change by offering a conduit for readers to readily empathise with others. As a result, this project is driven by the conviction that poetry can communicate in ways not always available to other forms of writing—which is especially important in the light of reports about how many older Australians feel silenced or invisible in contemporary society, or are isolated and lonely. Over the course of this project, this situation was exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic when older Australians became some of the most vulnerable people in the world. During this time, many were prevented from seeing their family and friends for extended periods in the name of protection from the virus. By listening to, recording and writing their life stories in poetry, we conceived of these works as a meeting point between older Australians and ourselves. These prose poems also function as an archive, preserving for the future important information about a diverse group of Australians.
Publication classificationJO3 Original Creative Works – Textual Work