Poets in Tasmania and Sweden, who’ve by no means met in individual, use on-line chats to co-write poetry e book


When Tasmanian poet Therese Corfiatis must get away, she solely has to ask her Swedish buddy, Britta Stenberg, for a screen-time tour of her snow-covered house. 

The 2 poets have developed an in depth friendship by way of common on-line video chats, regardless of residing at reverse ends of the globe and by no means having met in individual.

“I find it irresistible when she takes the laptop computer outdoors and swings it round — it may be minus 30 levels there and the entire world outdoors her home is white,” Ms Corfiatis mentioned.

Ms Corfiatis lives in Ulverstone, in northern Tasmania.(ABC Northern Tasmania: Rick Eaves)

However bodily distance hasn’t stopped them from publishing a e book of poetry collectively.

Bridge of Phrases is solely the product of two new buddies studying and responding to one another by the digital ether.

Close portrait of a woman in red neck shawl smiling at the camera.
Ms Stenberg has collaborated with Ms Corfiatis on a brand new e book.(Equipped: Britta Stenberg)

A juxtaposition of seasons and views

The pair have been launched by a mutual buddy, Tom Langston, who died all of a sudden in 2020, simply weeks earlier than he was to obtain an Order of Australia medal.

A revered musician and trainer on the north-west coast of Tasmania, Mr Langston cherished to host musical soirees and Ms Corfiatis usually attended.

He had met Ms Stenberg on a Scandinavian vacation and thoughtfully steered the 2 poets say hey throughout the globe.

A man in heavy waterproofs stands in an icey landscape, snowmobile behind.
Mr Langston launched the pair after assembly Ms Stenberg on a visit to Sweden.(Equipped: Britta Stenberg)

“Britta messaged me and we began to video chat with one another, so the e book is devoted to Tom,” Ms Corfiatis mentioned.

Each moms, grandmothers and poets, they chatted first, then determined to put in writing.

Within the first yr of COVID-19 lockdowns, they exchanged verse from the northern and southern hemispheres, reflecting on what was happening of their lives at any given level.

“When it was sunny right here, it was minus 30 there so there is a pretty juxtaposition of seasons, political beliefs, relationships to folks, to household,” Ms Corfiatis mentioned.

A person builds a castle-shaped structure out of snow.
Snow sculpting outdoors Ms Stenberg’s house in Swedish Lapland.(Equipped: Britta Stenberg)

“I despatched a poem coping with a powerful sunny day —  I believe Christmas Day — in Ulverstone.

“So she despatched one again about her Christmas within the frozen northern wastelands of Sweden.

“When she writes to me, she calls me sister and I do the identical — and she or he is my northern sister.”

The facility of language

Ms Corfiatis began writing as a baby. She was a part of a giant household and mentioned her migrant father usually felt depressed and dispossessed.

A book cover for Bridge of Words, abstract painting is the artwork.
Bridge of Phrases celebrates a friendship which bloomed by on-line chats.(ABC Northern Tasmania: Rick Eaves)

“A well-known author as soon as mentioned that writing was an instrument of survival. For me it began as a diary,” she mentioned.

“Later I found poetry. I all the time cherished the facility of language.

“I lived below Mt Wellington and was impressed by the great thing about seasons; that wildness, that deep spirit that is in every part.”

There at the moment are 9 printed collections of Ms Corfiatis’s poetry in addition to 4 chapbooks and quite a few contributions in anthologies.

A mom’s ‘masterpiece’

Her first printed writing was in regards to the method of her son Paul’s autism prognosis and ran within the Adelaide Advertiser.

“When Paul was round two and a half, I observed that he was completely different to different kids at playgroup,” she mentioned.

“The lengthy and in need of it’s, he was identified with autism within the early Eighties when most likely one in 10,000 kids have been identified.

“Our lives modified in some ways — and for the higher.”

“I used to be simply so shocked as a result of a physician had principally suggested me to place Paul ‘to 1 aspect’ in order that my household might proceed on with their lives.

A man looks away from computer screen to camera.
Ms Corfiatis’s son Paul is a proficient musician and producer primarily based in Burnie.(ABC Northern Tasmania: Rick Eaves)

“I needed to write about it. I knew that this stunning little boy — and he actually was like an angel in human type — and the sunshine shining out of his eyes … there needed to be a lot inside.

“And he is a effective younger man, now married and with an exquisite son of his personal. A gifted musician.”

Ms Corfiatis describes Paul as her masterpiece.

“He taught me to dig deep and discover braveness,” she mentioned.

“When you’re engaged on advocating for his or her place on the earth, your kids are instructing you find out how to develop and settle for the journey as it’s.” 

An in depth friendship

A middle aged woman in winter woolies in the snow.
Ms Stenberg would give her buddy video excursions of the snow outdoors her house in northern Sweden.(Equipped: Britta Stenberg)

For the poet ‘sisters’ from reverse ends of the Earth, the following stage of their journey to lasting friendship is to lastly meet in individual.

“My feeling is that Therese and I are very, very shut,” Ms Stenberg mentioned by way of video hyperlink from Sweden.

“It has been thrilling for me to get to know Tasmania and Therese.

“Bye-bye from Sweden, come and see me some day.”

Bridge of Phrases can be launched in Ulverstone on October 8 and Ms Corfiatis can be a visitor poet on the Tasmanian Poetry Competition occasion on the Imperial Lodge, Branxholm, on September 17.



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