Thursday, December 11, 2008

In memoriam: Dorothy Porter

Dorothy Porter, one of Australia's greatest ever poets, died on Wednesday from complications arising from breast cancer, aged 54. She is survived by her partner of many years, Andrea Goldsmith.

I was privileged enough, over the years, to have performed alongside Dot at poetry readings at Melbourne Uni, the Builders Arms and elsewhere. During my time as the Artistic Director of Express Media, supervising our mentorship programs, I witnessed Dot's laser-precise intelligence, compassion and passion for the poetic form hone in those young writers in whom she saw creative potential above the ordinary as well as the drive and comprehension necessary to match her own boundless enthusiasm; and I saw how she encouraged them, nurtured them, transfigured them. And I witnessed firsthand the alchemy by which she transmuted ordinary words into gold.

Dorothy Porter will be sorely missed by all of Australia's arts community. My most sincere and heartfelt condolences to Andy for this most grievous of losses.


Every night
shines through my hospital

big blue neoned letters
aimed vertically
at the thick dark sky
like a rocket
steadying its nerve
on a launching pad.

Whoever you are
you look like
you're going places.

Take me with you.

(c) Dorothy Porter, 2005