POETRY WEEK will have a raw edge in Perth this year as Karen Lowry traces her sexual abuse through poems streamed live on the WA Poets Inc Facebook page.
Abused by her grandfather aged 11 to 14 the poems reveal Lowry’s angst and depression, with some written at the time of the abuse and others written later which examine the toll.
Some explore the friendships made and faded and those that exploded under the pressure.
Despite the trauma, Lowry went on to gain a PhD and performs at major writing festival in London and Paris.
“Every achievement is cloaked in darkness, and these four hours are about that journey,” Lowry says.
“These are polished poems and raw poems, finished poems and single stanzas. These are life poems.”
You can follow Lowry’s journey with automatic notifications on Facebook.
The festival will be making big use of social media for updating punters on events and getting feedback. “Our hashtag is #PPS2016,” social media gun Scott-Patrick Mitchell says.
During the week-long festival there’ll be regular poetry posts on the big screen in Perth’s cultural centre.
Over at the art gallery eight poets will wax lyrical about eight artworks, including Gary De Piazzi, who can’t remember the name of the piece that inspired his words, but says it was a Kimberley landscape that reminded him of camping up north while posted as a teacher.
“Camping in a gorge, the only human being in 200 kilometres you felt insignificant,” De Piazzi says.
The festival kicks off Friday August 5–14. Go to wapoets.net.au/perth-poetry-festival.
by JENNY D’ANGER