Poetry festival inspires club

Primary school winners Grade Five pupil Judah O’Donnell, left, and Grade Six pupil James Summer from Apollo Bay P-12 College wrote about playing cricket on the beach.

Primary school winners Grade Five pupil Judah O’Donnell, left, and Grade Six pupil James Summer from Apollo Bay P-12 College wrote about playing cricket on the beach.

A FIRST-TIME poetry competition in Colac Otway Shire has sparked interest in starting a poetry club in Colac.

The Rotary Club of Colac West’s inaugural Colac Poetry Festival attracted 50 entries from the district’s scribes.

Rotary member and competition organiser Warwick Lyon said the event was a success and would continue next year.

Colac’s Sara Matthews, pictured with Rotary Club of West Colac’s Warwick Lyon, won the club’s inaugural Colac Poetry Festival adult section. Colac’s winter fog inspired Ms Matthews’ winning poem.

Colac’s Sara Matthews, pictured with Rotary Club of West Colac’s Warwick Lyon, won the club’s inaugural Colac Poetry Festival adult section. Colac’s winter fog inspired Ms Matthews’ winning poem.

“One of the conditions of the competition was that the poem had to be about the Colac Otway Shire,” he said.

Mr Lyon said the poetry festival inspired finalist Peter Brown and Murray Street’s Cowlick Bookshop’s Neal Drinnan to start up a poetry club from Mr Drinnan’s book store later this year.

Winners of the primary school and secondary school categories and eight finalists in the adult section entertained an audience of about 40 with recitations at the festival’s presentation night on Thursday.

Primary school winners Grade Six pupil James Summer and Grade Five pupil Judah O’Donnell from Apollo Bay P-12 College said their teacher Brooke Hutchings was pleased with their efforts.

“We thought about playing cricket on the beach along the Great Ocean Road,” James said about inspiration for the pair’s joint poem.

“We wrote it over three or four sessions,” Judah said.

Trinity College Year Eight student Holly Robertson won the secondary school category with her poem Once Active which evoked Red Rock’s geological history.

Adult section winner Colac’s Sara Matthews, a former English teacher, said Colac’s fog inspired her contribution.

“It came of my early, three-times-a-week trips to the gym,” Ms Matthews said.

“When you put your head out the door and can’t see a thing; around Murray Street it clears up a bit and then over to the lake side it thickens up again,” she said.

“The first draft can take you five minutes, but the polishing can take you five months or years,” Ms Matthews said of writing poetry.

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