“I am proud and happy to have been born in Ipswich. My interest in poetry and literature began in childhood. My father Alan instilled in me a deep love of the English word and from him I first learnt of the literary giants like Shakespeare, Shelly, Browning, Hardy, Maugham, and our own home-grown, Paterson, Lawson, Lyndsay Gordon and the like.
I was a pupil at Ipswich Central Girls’ School when I won my first Poetry Competition. I was about nine or ten. It was open to all schools in the Ipswich and Brisbane area: this is the poem:
My Mother’s Hair
That hair, that hair,
Spread upon the pillow there,
The waves the curls,
They shine like pearls,
With flash of grey by kiss of brown,
It all tumbles down,
A gleaming crown.
I recall the judge saying: “short, sweet and clever”. I was very proud and because of that memory, I would like to inspire more of our children to enter our contest.
I am honoured to be International Patron of the Ipswich Poetry Feast, which joins people in mutual endeavour for the betterment of all.
Let’s take pride in this outstanding event.”
Matt Foley is a barrister and mediator, former Arts Minister and Attorney-General of Queensland, former chair of the Queensland Writers Centre, and an occasional scribbler of poetry.
As Arts Minister he initiated “Poetry on the Move”, putting schoolchildren’s poetry on buses and trains around Queensland, established the Judith Wright Centre of Contemporary Arts, introduced the annual poet-in-residence program, supported the Queensland Poetry Festival and introduced several awards to support emerging and established poets including one named after the great Ipswich poet, Thomas Shapcott.
Ipswich Poetry Feast Community Interest Group
Poets, poetry enthusiasts and other volunteer members of this community who have contributed to the success of the Ipswich Poetry Feast and helped to enrich the cultural identity of Ipswich through the generous donation of their time and talents.