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The Moorings: a poetry workshop collection

Here is an eclectic collection of poems by Janne Graham, Amelia Fielden, Julia Irwin, Neva Kastelic and Meryl Turner.

Together, they have explored forms and themes and triggered ideas for each other. You will find poems following the unusual Golden Shovel form through to three on tomatoes … and much else beside.

The title, a nod to the home address where the group meets, also suggests the sense of a safe place in which they practice their art.

The content is a reflection of a workshop in action, experimental and friendly.

ISBN 9781922332462 (PB, 112pp);
140mm x 216mm
AUD $26 USD $18 NZD $28 GBP £12 EUR €14
ISBN 9781922332479 (eBook) AUD $13 USD $9 NZD $15 GBP £6 EUR €7


What shines out from this anthology is the huge enthusiasm for words – honouring, shaping and simply playing with words. The delight in experimenting with poetic forms indeed reflects the writers’ fascination with life and what asks to be expressed, each writer reflecting her individuality in the process. The book offers encouragement to anyone interested in words and the possibilities of poetry to ‘Have a go!’

– Nicola Bowery

Janne D. Graham and Amelia Fielden, eds.

Amelia Fielden composes mainly in traditional Japanese forms such as tanka but is interested in all genres of poetry. She finds that the reading and workshopping of her peers’ writings at The Moorings’ meetings provide very effective stimuli for her own creativity. Having her work critiqued in a positive and well-informed environment also brings about improvement and, in some cases, publication success. Amelia is not much of a desk poet. Most of her poems are sketched out in her head while she is walking her dog or swimming. Janne D Graham comes from a background of social policy and health advocacy – not one designed to develop a poetic sensibility. She corralled a compatible group of women because she wanted help and support in her newish venture of poetry writing. It worked. The various outlooks and values, different knowledge bases, to say nothing of personalities, have provided a supportive environment for her writing. She has even had a little publication success. Julia Irwin was well-known in the busy poetry circles of eighties Canberra, publishing and performing. She left for the Coast to pursue her love of dance and a new husband. Back in Canberra, less active and shorter of sight, a chance meeting with a distant relative led her to The Moorings. There, her love of words lay in wait for her, coupled with a growing interest in the beauty of small things closely observed. Now she lives not far away in Braidwood and it’s all happening there, too. Neva Kastelic likes to take photos and write poems about the moment. Through a happy twist of fate, she became a part of The Moorings group. She has learned a lot from her fellow Moorings poets, including to not start her reading of a new poem with an apology. If there is a theme to her poems it is this: ‘what’s it all about, Alfie?’ Her poetic goal is to write a perfectly formed sonnet. Maybe not today. Meryl Turner had begun to write poetry again when she was invited to join The Moorings. This group has enabled her in many ways but particularly to experiment with the matching of poetic form to ideas and words. One member contributed with her knowledge of Japanese forms, another with close observations and yet another is a friend who shares Meryl’s love of art and the word. After workshopping there has been the encouragement to place poems deemed ready ‘into the drawer’. For Meryl, writing is both wrestling with concepts and playing with words.