Wednesday, 6 January 2016

Australian Women Poets of the First World War

One of the most fantastic things about this commemorative WW1 project is the contact I now have with people from all corners of the world.   I recently received an e-mail from Michael Sharkey, who edits the ‘Australian Poetry Journal’ in Melbourne Australia.  Michael, a former university lecturer and poet who has been researching and lecturing on Australian women’s WW1 poetry for many years, had come across my weblog and very kindly sent me details of some more Australian women poets of the First World War.

Michael reminded me that when Helen Power was born, Tasmania, like the other Australian States, was a separate Crown Colony of the British Empire.  Australia as a single entity was not formed until 1901, when these Crown Colonies became The Confederacy of Australia.  

I am very grateful to Michael and indeed to all those who contribute to this commemorative First World War project which is in memory of my Grandfather, an Old Contemptible with the Royal Field Artillery who survived service in both World Wars and of my two Great Uncles -  one who was killed at Arras on Easter Monday, 9th April 1917 and the other who died of Pneumonia on 8th November 1918 on board the Thames Barge '99' of which he was Master, following a trip to Dunkirk delivering vital supplies to the British Army. 

I need to add the following Australian women poets of WW1 to my List:

Mabel Forrest

Nora McAuliffe

Beatrice Vale Bevan

Emily Courgeau

Helen Power

Ellie Wemyss

Source:  e-mails from Michael Sharkey who sent me a copy of an article he wrote on the subject that was published in ‘Australian Literary Studies’, volume 23, No. 1, pp. 63 – 78).