Poetry is a tool which can be used for many different uses, from conveying a particular message to transforming words into unique sounds.
For Sharon Foulkes, poetry is a means of connecting with others through similar experiences.
“I love it when people read my poems and go ‘yes, that’s exactly what it was like!’” she said.
“It’s similar to how people relate to the lyrics in a song or a passage from a book.”
Clearly many have been relating to her work, as she’s won several literary awards particularly over the past year. The first was the Tom Black Memorial Award for rhyming poetry hosted by the Eyre Writers Group.
Her most recent award was Poem of the Month with Adelaide's Friendly Street Poets.
It was Sharon’s poem “The Handover” which took out the honour, and as a result was published in an anthology produced by the Friendly Street Poets.
“That was pretty special, because a lot of the members had been in the poetry scene for a very long time,” she said.
“A lot of time you’re own your own when you’re doing any sort of writing. Occasionally someone will read it, so it’s good to know you’re on the right track.”
The inspiration for “The Handover” came from an encounter Sharon and her husband experienced while traveling to Adelaide.
“We stopped for tea, and noticed this girl sitting in the corner looking kind of lost and nervous. Then a bloke passed us with a little floral backpack and handed it over to her,” she said.
“Then we realised she was a child that was being handed over as part of custody. The poem grew out of me thinking about what the mother, father and child were thinking and feeling in that situation.”
As for the type of poetry Mrs Foulkes puts together, she enjoys playing with different poetic forms.
“You come across a particular way a poem can be written and see how it might fit with an idea you’ve had,” she said.
One unique form of poetry is a paradelle, where poets put together one line of words that is then chopped up and changed to form the next two lines and so on.
Out of this form, Sharon created a poem titled “Restructuring” that related back to the uncertainty surrounding then-Arrium last year.
“As part of restructuring you don’t know what’s going to be chopped or changed next, so I think it captured how we as a community were feeling at that time,” she said.
That poem was published as part of the Whyalla Writers Group 2016 anthology – Where the Outback Meets the Sea.
Mrs Foulkes had her poem “Tackle Box” published as part of this year’s Whyalla Writers Group anthology –Recipes for Living.