TWO poems of Gunnedah writer and artist Anne Knight were hand-picked to feature in The School Magazine’s recently published anthology.
The anthology is titled For Keeps – A treasury of stories, poems, and plays celebrating 100 years of The School Magazine, and was launched by the Honourable Adrian Piccoli, the Minister for Education, in August.
Ms Knight writes under her maiden name, Anne Bell and first submitted a poem to the magazine in 1974. Over 42 years, she has contributed more than 100 poems.
The two poems included in the anthology were Precious Things, originally printed in 1975, and ‘What is it?’, printed in 2006.
Ms Knight said she was “surprised and very pleased” to have her work chosen.
“I know it was a lengthy selection process,” she said.
“They’re very good writers writing for it.
“I was chuffed about it.”
The poet said she had been submitting works to the magazine since her children were at school.
“I suppose it’s a form of addiction,” she said.
“I don’t knowingly write for children.
“It’s very easy to write down to them. I think we underestimate what they can understand and their sensitivities to things.”
Ms Knight said she has been writing “forever” and told her brother stories when they were young.
“I grew up in a family of storytellers in a time when people knew the ballads,” she said.
Writing poetry is hard work according to Ms Knight and said ‘sometimes a thought will float about in your mind for years’.
“I don’t sit and sweat at the table for weeks on end on the same poem,” she said.
“If you put it away, sometimes they come right. There’s no set formula I stick to.
“I think you write about what you know and your work is more sincere.”
The School Magazine’s editor, Alan Edwards said Ms Knight continues to contribute poems, with two already earmarked for publication in 2017.
“They’re beautifully observed poems,” Mr Edwards said.
“Being a literary magazine we’re very careful to ensure the literary standard of pieces that we purchase is high.
“They’re very well written pieces of poetry.”
The editor said Ms Knight’s poem speak to the magazine’s audience, which is primary school students.
One of the themes in Ms Knight’s poetry is nature, with a number of her poems featuring landscapes.
Mr Edwards said it was “very challenging” to select the best texts from a 100-year period for the anthology.
“We had to get a mix of stories and plays and poems and a mix across the years and a mix of styles and themes, so for Anne to have two poems in speaks very much of the quality of her work,” he said.