Daniel Hansen reflects on this poetic commission for New Shoots WA in 2019.
This project to me has been quite the eye opener. I have felt highly honoured to be involved with such well-established writers, yet it has also been very overwhelming at the same time. I have come to realise that I have a lot to learn as a writer. This project has inspired me to take up a writing course to further develop my writing skills. I am grateful to all the people involved for their high level of professionalism and kind words, when I felt like I was not on the level.
As an Aboriginal man, I have always held a special connection to the Boodjar, and a lot does come to mind when thinking of different mallee species. There are a lot of esoteric beliefs involved when it comes to some mallee trees. I wish I could have expressed more of my personal dreamtime beliefs within the project, through what I know of light transference and releasing of energies, especially when it comes to certain cleansing ceremonies.
I have always used writing as a way to help cope with issues I’ve had over the years with my mental health; mainly depression. I feel that being able to express myself through different forms of writing and performing arts is a great way to deal with any problems that I have found too difficult to face at times. As I have been falling slowly back into depressive patterns due to personal issues that have unfortunately unfolded in my life, to be involved with such a friendly team of understanding people has definitely helped me through a lot of my strife I have been dealing with when it comes to my depression & anxiety.
Thank you to Red Room Poetry and everyone involved, this has been quite the learning experience for me, and I feel I can evolve so much from it.