Writing Sisters of the North Visiting Words and Pictures

Ripple Poetry

Carol Libke and June Perkins at the Queensland Art Gallery, September 2018.

It was a delight to catch up with my writing sister (by the bonds of writing and living in the Far North Queensland related), Carol Libke, from Far North Queensland, and to take her on a tour of my writing in  ‘Words and Pictures.’

The writers of the Far North are special to me, because they accepted some of my work for an anthology many years ago. The poem, ‘Grumpy Fisherman’ inspired by the theme ripples, was later to become the inspiration for the Magic Fish Dreaming poetry book. Furthermore, they invited me to attend and read at a Cairns Writer’s Festival lead up event, and to be on panels on digital storytelling and blogging. Carol attended a workshop in Mission Beach, and we stayed in touch when I moved to Brisbane.

Mission Beach Workshop after Cyclone…

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Losing Parents

Reflecting on the loss of parents, something which many of my friends are going through.

Ripple Poetry

Sometimes when I can’t find the words for someones loss
I send leaves, flowers and hearts
a poetry of stickers
for them to interpret how they wish

If I know them well I might
share a special memory of the person
lost and how that will always be
like gold.

But when stickers, and flowers, and
everything just don’t seem to fit
I scroll past silently and think of them
and write this to send.

For anyone of my friends and readers who has lost a parent

To all my friends losing parents this week
I don’t know your parents except
through anything you do that is inspired by them,
and anything you build in their legacy,

Or anything you do opposite to them (because you need to),
but you still loved them because
they made you see yourself clearly.

To all the friends losing parents
in the last few…

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Events

WORDS & PICTURES GRANDPARENTS DAY TOUR

10.30AM SUN 28 OCT 2018 QAG | GALLERY 10, GALLERY 11, GALLERY 12, GALLERY 13 | BOOK NOW

Works by Koolmatrie and Gascoigne, in the Queensland Art Gallery

On Grandparents Day, visitors of all ages are invited to join Words & Pictures writer, Dr June Perkins, on an interactive journey through the Australian Collection. Follow June’s series of poems and micro-stories throughout the Collection – with paper and pencil in hand! Write and draw your own responses, accompanied by special insights from the writer.

Discover a fresh perspective on the Australian Collection with Words & Pictures, an ongoing project that invites local artists and writers to respond to artworks in the Australian Collection. The Words & Pictures inspiration for Spring 2018 comes from Dr June Perkins. June is a Brisbane-based poet and children’s author, of Indigenous Papua New Guinean and Australian background, raised in Tasmania by Baha’i parents. Her first children’s book was the award-winning poetry collection, Magic Fish Dreaming (2016) illustrated by Helene Magisson.

You can contact the Gallery to book into this Free Tour.

Middle Grade Fiction with Gabrielle Wang

At the recent packed annual SCWIBI Queensland  Professional Development Workshop, I  appreciated Gabrielle Wang sharing her creative process with us. She gave us some inventive and wonderful ideas to improve our work in second drafts and shared her personal story of the importance of perseverance and the value of a mentor and challenge.  Do visit Gabrielle’s site to find out more about her books, and buy or borrow them!  They are fantastic and I can’t wait to read more.
Sheryl Gwyther, SCWIBI coordinator for Queensland,  and Gabrielle are pictured above sharing a concertina book with us. In this book Gabrielle told the story of a treasured object visually.  The true story of the object from real life was created first, but then she invented a story inspired by it, on the flip side. This process produced an idea for a story I am going to begin writing today! Gabrielle said that that you can use this same process to map chapters of a middle grade book and then she showed us one of her books mapped out visually.  The key is to use no words, but just see the story like a movie in your head, and draw your pictures based on that.  You do not have to be an artist for this to be useful. Gabrielle likes working organically so that not everything is pre-planned before she writes, but can be inspired by everyday events.  However, the visual planning ensures that she sees the story unfold in her head and carries it there and can intuitively respond to how the characters unfold.
I love being a member of SCWIBI, and learning from skilled and enthusiastic people about their writing process and their challenges and victories in writing, publishing and life.  The support from this and groups like Write Links has assisted me in developing as a writer and finding like minded people who are passionate about writing and reading literacy for young people and children.

The image above is taken by Danielle Freeland, who kindly took this group photograph with nearly everyone above’s phone for them.  She is a wonderful writer herself.  Thanks Danielle!   It was wonderful to  catch up with writers from the Gold Coast, and Sunshine Coast on the day as well.  A big thank you to Sheryl for organizing this for members and Gabrielle for visiting from Melbourne.  A brilliant day!

Haystack

This appeared on Australian Children’s Poetry blog today, and is also up at the Queensland Art Gallery.

Ripple Poetry

Image: William Delafield Cook A haystack 1982, Courtesy of the Queensland Art Gallery

Look! Rats and the children run out from
their hiding places in the haystack to
dance in front of us in a merry line?
Who else do you think hides here?

Do you have a memory of haystacks or
artist’s haystacks?

(Perceval’s Angel)

Tumble down the Haystack
dreaming columns of Greece.

Tumble down the Haystack
​             with childhood farming friends.

​Tumble down the Haystack
​             to horses and the cows.

Now,
climb up that artist’s Haystack
and tumble down again.

June Perkins (Brisbane-based poet and children’s author)​

***

June cover page-4 John Perceval Sculpture: The Herald Angel 1958 Ray Crooke, Woman with Blossoms

Dr June Perkins, a Brisbane based poet and children’s author, has developed an interactive journey, through the Australian Collection, through poems and micro-stories for visitors of all ages, with…

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