Brenda Joy
eLines - April 2016

Preserving the Craft - Brenda Joy - 'The Darling of the Outback'

Brenda Joy was born in Tasmania where her grandfather and father were original west coast 'Piners'. She grew up in a musical family and began artistic pursuits early in life.  In addition to her career as a primary and special education teacher, Brenda is a published author, exhibiting artist, singer and storyteller - not to mention wife and mother!
Brenda's interest has always been captured by the solitude, beauty and freedom of Australia, and her love of her homeland found its expression in the living art form of traditional Australian verse.  She is passionate about our heritage and keeping alive the diversity of the bush poetry genre.  She is past secretary and current publicity officer of the Australian Bush Poets Association and Host Editor for the Young Xpressions section of the literary magazine Free XpresSion.  These days Brenda enjoys travelling with her husband Hal, to judge and perform at ABPA and community events and to present poetry workshops for adults and children all around the country.
Brenda's skill in both performance and written verse has earned her multiple awards, along with a dedicated following in the bush poetry community and beyond.  She has been Australian written bush poetry champion, as well as written champion of NSW, WA and Victoria - and performance humorous champion of NSW.  These award winning poems and more are featured in her first book of bush verse Under the Southern Cross Sky.  This year she was awarded her second prestigious Blackened Billy for written bush verse, held in conjunction with the annual Tamworth Country Music Festival.  Her winning poem deals with the topical and emotional theme of a birth mother's search for her child who was adopted, and I have chosen it as my first selection Bond of Love.
By contrast, Snowy - Reflections of a River personifies the famous Australian waterway as it tells its tale of the cost of progress.  On the lighter side, here is a very clever poem about the adventures of an RM Williams boot - the right foot, to be precise - Boot About Town.  Enjoy!

Brenda with the Silver Brumby Aaward taken in Corryong 2015