I have spent an afternoon crying, laughing and, generally, spell bound. Why? I went to a talk about a woman I had never heard of. But, I thought, if she warrants a talk, she must be worth finding out about, and she most certainly was!
Robin Hyde is the pen name of a very remarkable writer. She was a feminist at a time when it did not serve her career to be one, but more than this, she was a humanitarian.
I listened in awe for two and a bit hours and when Derek Challis, Robin's son, spoke (he knew her as mother, and by her real name of Iris, and she died when he was seven) I could not stop my tears from escaping.
It was also a celebration of her life and proof that she goes on living through her son's biography and through her words, which are as fresh and relevant today as they were in the 1930s. Particularly her thoughts on war.
Michele Leggott gave two readings: a poem of her own, named after one of Robin's, and a piece of prose poetry - what came from this experience was the overriding feeling of being in a room of creatively talented and strong people, strong women, and people, including the artists Annette Isbey and Margaret Lawlor-Bartlett, who were also in awe of a true pioneer.
I am not going to direct your reading to these individual pieces, I want you to go out and find out as much about her as you can, for yourselves. You will be inspired.
Apologies for the haphazardness of this post but I couldn't wait to share this with you!