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Jude Neale's new poetry book celebrates Joy Kogawa House

Prolific Bowen poet Jude Neale recently released her latest book of poetry
A photo of a page from Inside the Pearl
Jude Neale's latest collection of poetry is a series of haiku about Joy Kogawa House.

Last June I was writer in residence at Joy Kogawa House. I was invited by the executive director to do a residency.

I thought long and hard about what I wanted to achieve when I was there. It became obvious to me I needed to explore and document Joy Kogawa House itself, the very symbol of oppression and displacement during the Second World War.

In 1937, Joy Kogawa and her family moved to this dwelling until internment in 1942. It is here where Ms Kogawa had her fondest memories. She once commented that she “would never live in such a beautiful house again.”

I wanted the house and its many household items to be immortalized in haiku that would go with pictures that Paul Hooson would take. I wrote 60 haiku while I was there accompanied by photographs. Feeling rather pleased I sent my haiku to a haiku master who told me they weren’t haiku! The 5/7/5 syllable pattern was wrong. I had to start again and change each poem to a real haiku. After much research and advice and 10 complete edits I sent them off to the great innovative and prize-winning haiku writer, Jacqueline Pearce. 

It was through her extensive knowledge of this form that I found out I had now written haiku, so different from the original version three months before. 

 After Joy Kogawa read the manuscript she responded with these words: “I just read Inside the Pearl and what a delicate beautiful tone comes by. A light bell sound. Wonder. Grace...” 

All the author’s monies will be going to Joy Kogawa House Society Residency programme. They have also purchased books which will now represent the house and its legacy.

During this process I fell in love with the house and feel blessed to have created a book that will carry on the story and maybe move us all to do even better.

Inside the Pearl is published by Guernica Editions and can be ordered through them, the Hearth Gallery, or me!