Poetry collections to be launched at last

November 18, 2021 BY

U3A members Helen Seymour and Jean Bohuslav. Photo: SUPPLIED

DESPITE U3A Surf Coast going in and out of lockdown both last year and this year, two of its members from the Reading and Writing Poetry Group have had their poetry collections accepted for publication.

Based in Adelaide, Ginninderra Press is one of the principal publishers of poetry in Australia, and the works by Jean Bohuslav and Helen Seymour will be their first professional publications.

“Both of these chapbooks are thought provoking, each in its own way, and I recommend them to anyone who will open themselves to a different viewing point,” publisher Brenda Eldridge said.

She commended the two collections, saying that Bohuslav’s poems were “wide-ranging in content” and that she “takes a subject and makes the reader look at it from different perspectives. Each poem does need to be savoured and lingered over to get the full value”.

Seymour has a different approach, according to Eldridge.

“The original title of this chapbook was Across the Wetlands and I was lulled by the first poems but quickly found myself sitting up straight as Helen took me by the hand and led me into a very challenging world,” she said.

“After a very brief email exchange Helen changed the title to Shot Silk to Gun Shots and this was a stroke of genius.”

Both books are available for sale at Torquay Books.

U3A Surf Coast’s poetry group has been meeting over Zoom fortnightly, and for many this was an opportunity to stay connected during lockdowns and also to express their thoughts and feelings.

The group collated and published an anthology of poetry mid-year, Wondering and Wandering, but because of lockdowns has been unable to officially launch the publication until now.

This launch by Torquay prize-winning author Julie Maclean, along with the two poetry collections, will take place at the Torquay Improvement Association Hall, 14 Price Street, on Monday, November 22 at 10.30am.

Although this is a U3A Surf Coast event, members of the public are invited to attend. However, because of limited numbers due to COVID-19 restrictions, anyone wishing to attend will need to book through [email protected]

U3A Surf Coast’s Art Group has also been working through the lockdown, and has put together the Lockdown to Liberty exhibition, which opens today (Thursday, November 18) at 11am at The Mac, 77 Beach Road, Torquay.

The Lockdown works convey the depressive burden of uncertainty as the industrialised world seemed to grind to a halt, with chains, locked cogs, serrated sawtooth motifs common; while the Liberty series is light and fresh, heralding new life, with several of the works including symbols of the artists’ lives such as musical and wind organ motifs, wildlife, loved ones and fantasy.

The exhibition demonstrates the community’s ability to deal with despondency and to rise to the challenge of not only the immediate impacts of a pandemic but also the side effects of isolation, shortages, and radical adaptations to new ways of living and working.

It will be on show at The Mac until Sunday, November 21.

Thank you for supporting local journalism!