On Monday, the South Coast Writers Centre announced that Annie Te Whiu, Hayley Scrivenor, Judi Morison and I have been selected for their Writers in Residence Program in collaboration with the Wollongong Botanic Gardens.
It's such an honour to be selected alongside the other writers to undertake a residency in such a beautiful location and as a part of the garden's 50th year celebrations. It is also the 100th year celebration of Cratloe Cottage from which the residency will be based.
I'm really looking forward to being a part of the events in the second week of the school holidays, 7-11 July. There will be some 'Meet the Writer' opportunities and readings from some of the Writers in Residence.
Being awarded the residency is something quite close to my heart. Both my great grandfather and grandfather on my mother's side were market gardeners and florists. I spent a lot of time tramping after my grandfather's early morning chores—picking flowers for bunches, checking the green houses, watering, weeding, pruning, mulching, dressing the flower stand, and filling orders for customers.
Over the course of the residency I will be working to write a suite of poems that respond to the garden's collections, the interconnection between people and nature, and the legacies that the gardens carry, both in their conservation of important Australia species and in the human story that is written across the landscape of the Illawarra.
My congratulations to other recipients and my thanks to both the South Coast Writers Centre and the Wollongong Botanic Gardens staff for selecting me.
For more about the other recipients further updates on their work you can check out: https://southcoastwriters.org/