Author photo by Peter's son, Walter Bakowski

Sunday, August 15, 2010

My apprenticeship

It's easy to sit around in a cafe and say 'I'd love to be a published writer' but Ian Thorpe didn't sit around in a cafe saying 'I'd love to be Australia's fastest swimmer', he went ahead and spent many hundreds of hours practicing the craft of swimming. There is no way around serving an apprenticeship in writing. You have to spend many hundreds of hours facing the blank page. I started writing poems in 1983 and served an eleven year self-imposed apprenticeship in writing them. I took what I felt were the best poems from that eleven year apprenticeship and submitted them as a manuscript to Penguin. They rejected it. I revised the manuscript and then submitted it to Hale & Iremonger. The manuscript was accepted, published under the title "In The Human Night" and won the 1996 Victorian Premier's Award for Poetry. Practice and persistence remain integral to my creative and professional focus as a poet.

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