Members of Taperoo Community Centre’s poetry group are practising diligently for a very special occasion, when they will perform their own poems to an audience for the first time.
Centre Coordinator Kathy Miller says the performance will be an incredible accomplishment for the group, with some members having only started reading and writing in the past few years.
The performance is the culmination of many months of hard work, which began when group members collaborated to write three humorous poems last year.
Each participant was then encourage to write their own poem, drawing from their life experiences.
What resulted was an eclectic mix of poems with topics as far ranging as puppies, raindrops, hats, relationships and rock’n’roll.
The poems have since been collated into a book, A Potpourri of Poems and Pictures, with artwork by Taperoo Community Centre’s painting group bringing much colour to the publication.
Kathy says the high quality of the publication is secondary to the impact the process has had on participants’ lives – especially their confidence.
“It is amazing to see how far they have come,” Kathy says.
“Bear in mind a lot of people in this group have not long been reading and writing.
“A couple of years ago, there is no way they would have attempted to write poetry, let alone perform it.
“I am so proud of each of them and it has been incredible to watch their development – they should be very proud of themselves.”
Dotti is among the group participants whose work has been published in the poetry compilation.
Her poem talks about her love of Taperoo Community Centre, which she says is like her second home.
In the centre’s autumn concert, Dotti plans to perform her poem as a song to the tune of wartime musical hit, It’s a long way to Tipperary.
She says Taperoo Community Centre, which offers a broad range of classes including in the areas of computing, literacy, personal development and creative pursuits, has been life changing for her.
“When I first came here, when my carer dropped me off they almost had to carry me in,” Dotti says.
“Then I saw the sign on the wall that says ‘Enter as a stranger, leave as a friend’ and that’s what made me feel comfortable.
“Now I don’t want to ever leave … that’s the problem!’”
To find out more about Taperoo Community Centre and the range of classes available, contact Centre Director Kathy Miller on 8248 2122 or visit https://unitingsa.com.au/community-services/taperoo-community-centre/ to download a timetable.