Inklusive Poetry at MANPAC to launch in February 2022

INKLUSIVE: Australian poet Fran Graham will host a fortnightly poetry group at the MANPAC. Photos: Supplied and neONBRAND via Unsplash.
INKLUSIVE: Australian poet Fran Graham will host a fortnightly poetry group at the MANPAC. Photos: Supplied and neONBRAND via Unsplash.

Award-winning Murray poet Fran Graham is starting a free poetry group 'Inklusive Poetry' described as "a poetry group for writers and non-writers", which will run from the Mandurah Performing Arts Centre.

The group will commence on February 10, and will meet for fortnightly sessions.

"I didn't start writing seriously until I was 40 - when I started I was dreadful," Ms Graham laughed.

"I was taken in by a lovely group of older women who mentored me and eventually the penny dropped and I got the hang of it."

Ms Graham, who has won a number of literary awards and published poems in various prestigious publications throughout her career, said poetry could be anything a person wanted it to be.

"You can have fun with poetry - two of my most successful poems were about toilet paper and the frustration I experienced while trying to choose a carpet for my bedroom," she said.

"I performed the poems at a pub in Hobart and afterwards I was approached by a lady who was in publishing who said to me 'I want the toilet paper poem and the carpet poem'."

A common misconception about poetry, according to Ms Graham, is that every poem has to follow a formula or rhyme.

"You can write a poem about anything and it can just be a few lines, you don't have to make it sound 'poetic' and it doesn't have to rhyme - in fact, most modern poetry doesn't rhyme."

Ms Graham has written both modern poetry, and formulated poetry - giving her a wealth of knowledge to impart on the group.

"My biggest prize to date was coming second in the Poetry d'Amour competition - that poem was a villanelle, which does follow a specific formula.

"It is also fun to teach how to write those."

Ms Graham said the vision for Inklusive Poetry was to bring writers from complete beginners to seasoned poets together to share ideas, learn and have fun.

"I love helping people start writing or improve on what they're doing.

"I'm hoping we get some rank beginners and perhaps people who had never thought of writing but saw the promo and thought it was interesting.

"Just come - come along, you don't have to have ever written anything at all. You can even come just because you're curious, it's open for everybody.

"It's free and you don't have to sign up or commit to a certain amount of time - it will be an enjoyable group to be a part of."

After moving to Pinjarra three months ago, Ms Graham said she had settled into a "beautiful" home and was enjoying the "country town vibe".

"I really am a country girl at heart," she said.

"I moved into a lifestyle village and it's like being in a resort, I get to swim every second day."

To learn more about Inklusive Poetry or to register interest, visit the MANPAC website.