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Using poetry to reimagine the past: Magdalena Ball and Jean Kent

September 2, 2023 @ 3:15 pm - 4:15 pm AEST

Gold coin donation

Verse memoir: the nexus between f AMily history and poetry.Jean Kent and Magdalena Ball have both released narrative verse memoirs this year. Jean’s The Shadow Box was inspired by the experiences of her maternal grandparents, George and Jean C AMpbell, during and shortly after World War I and Magdalena Ball’s Bobish explores the experiences of her great-grandmother Rebecca Lieberman, who migrated from the Eastern Europe to the United States in 1907 and through two world wars.

F AMily history is a volatile and uncertain thing. There are many different sides/experiences to every story and if you begin to ask questions, conflicting narratives. In spite of the complexity, there is something so compelling about delving deep into these stories – we find out so much more than the personal charm of these lives—there are the grand narratives of war and diaspora that are both fascinating from an historical context and also intensely resonant for a modern audience – so much has changed and yet so little has–what makes us fragile, beautiful and tragic as a species feels timeless.

Both books use the artefacts—letters, census documents and imagination to create a f AMily history which is as rooted in a modern sensibility as it is an historical revitalisation. The two of them will read from and talk about their work and the many correspondences and the way that poetry is the perfect medium for history.

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September 2, 2023
3:15 pm - 4:15 pm AEST
Gold coin donation
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Lake Mac Arts and Culture


Charlestown Library
Cnr Smith & Ridley St
Charlestown, NSW 0229 Australia
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(02) 4921 0111
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