Guest Blog Post: On the writing of ‘Celebrating Australia, a year in poetry’ by Lorraine Marwood

Celebrating_Australia_CVR-HRIntro: This is my sixth book with Walker books Australia and all the books are either poetry collections or verse novels. They are written for children (and always adults too)

What does it take to write a whole collection of poems about the word ‘Celebration’?

Well it takes lots of research, remembering, collecting ideas, words, customs, traditions and finding an immediate way into a topic that brings that child and adult reader right into the middle of a special time.

It also took a year of writing and reflecting and rewriting. Seventy two poems star in this collection, but many more were written but just didn’t make it to the final cut.

My editor Mary, encouraged and suggested and thoroughly went through each poem for balance, word choice and overall appeal. Thanks Mary.

Some celebrations made the backbone of the collection like: Australia day, Easter, Valentine’s day, Anzac day, Christmas. I wanted the seasons included as a demarcation of changes and progression in the book. Once the autumn poem was written (which incidentally was the first poem I wrote for the collection) then I used the same beat, word count and line break for the other seasonal poems.

My poetry shows that I love concrete details, sound words, sensory images and a unique patterning for each poem. I also love unexpected surprises and poetry is a great format for this.

Each poem is a little universe, with a beginning, a middle and end that spins you around to the beginning again.

I love embracing all the multi-cultural high points of the year like: Harmony day, Chinese New Year, Bastille day, Ramadan, Hanukkah, to name a few.

Throw in some quirky celebrations like talk like a pirate day and International dot day and there’s a poem to read for every Australian milestone in the year.

Lorraine Marwood lives in central Victoria and loves writing, reading, gardening crafting , writing and has a big family and even bigger collection of grandchildren. Her verse novel ‘Star Jumps’ won the children’s section of the Prime Minster’s literary prize.