18.1 C
Byron Shire
October 27, 2021

Gran Slammers premier at Byron Writers Festival

Latest News

Other News

Cr Darlene Cook: ‘working to restore accountability and trust in our Council’

Current Lismore Councillor Darlene Cook has served one term on Lismore Council and at the December LGA election, she plans to run for Mayor.

Call to reject Evans Head Iron Gates DA over failure to recognise Indigenous heritage

Evans Head locals call for rejection of Iron Gates DA and recognition of the national significance of the site and its incorporation into the Broadwater National Park.

Christian fundamentals

Robin Harrison’s letter (13 October) made me realise how Christian fundamentals are little known, yet so freely referred to....

Library restrictions

Under Richmond Tweed Library restrictions announced today, our local libraries are now only offering click and collect, and online...

End of Days

Sometimes life would be a lot simpler if I could just believe in God. If I could believe that...

Black bellied whale sighted at Ballina dubbed ‘Liquorice’

For years southern waters whale watchers have been keeping their eyes keen for Migaloo and his offspring, but just...

Julie Crow, Ruth Savage, Lyn Thompson, David Stavanger, Margaret Sparks, Sheron Young. Photo supplied.

Slam poetry competitions might bring youth to mind but there are plenty in the Northern Rivers who enjoying their second youth who took to the stage for the Gran Slam. Performers, aged 70 to 98, were filmed for a screening at yesterdays Byron Writers Festival, followed by some live Gran Slam performances.

Under the guidance of expert poet David Stavanger, from performance company Everybody NOW! 20 Gold Coast and Northern Rivers seniors answered a call-out to write and perform.

Stavanger said the participant’s passion and powerful performances were inspiring.

‘There might be a perception that the only writing older people do is their will and letters to the editor of their local newspaper, but Gran Slam has challenged those tropes, the stereotypes, the ideas, the limitations that people put on older people,’ he said.

‘I’ve learned that desire is sustained throughout a lifetime – whether it’s to keep moving; to stay on one’s feet; for companionship; to turn and see the back of another’s head on a pillow – the passion that came through the poets writing was palatable.

‘These beautiful breaths, these beautiful pauses, and this willingness to push yourself outside your comfort zone at any age, has me totally inspired.’

The Gran Slam is a collaboration between Everybody NOW! and aged-care provider, Feros Care who both share a commitment to smash stereotypes and support communities to live bolder lives.

One participant Aaron Bromley, who is 78 years young, said that just ‘A few years ago when I was in high school, I remember the English teaching telling me to sit down and write some poetry. Well I sat down and after a long while I'd come up with four lines and I decided I’d never do poetry again.

‘Coming to the slam workshop, it was like cleaning a window in your brain and suddenly you realise, that poetry can work – so thank you, it’s obliterated a lifetime fear of poetry.’

Feros Care’s Tarnya Sim said Gran Slam was designed to give seniors a voice.

‘One of the things that seniors often comment about is that they feel invisible,’ she said.

‘We’re hoping this project really puts them on the map and allows their voices, which are so important, to be heard.’

Support The Echo

Keeping the community together and the community voice loud and clear is what The Echo is about. More than ever we need your help to keep this voice alive and thriving in the community.

Like all businesses we are struggling to keep food on the table of all our local and hard working journalists, artists, sales, delivery and drudges who keep the news coming out to you both in the newspaper and online. If you can spare a few dollars a week – or maybe more – we would appreciate all the support you are able to give to keep the voice of independent, local journalism alive.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Blue skies for Blueberry Fields

Blueberry Fields is very much a family business with father-and-son team Otto and Jasch Saeck working alongside each other on their 160-acre farm at...

Cacao wow

After ten years of wholesale trading from their small factory, Byron Bay Cacao’s stunning new retail space is now open to the public. The...

Rancho Relaxo

Although Jane Boniface says that everything she does is ‘a mistake’, she seems to have the knack of turning things to her advantage. When...

New plan to minimise flood hazard in Lismore

Lismore City Council has commenced the preparation of a new Flood Risk Management Plan that will identify the measures designed to minimise the community’s exposure to flood hazard.