Nationally acclaimed poet Associate Professor Alan Wearne has returned to his academic home at the University of Wollongong to host a workshop for students and to speak about his book.

A/Prof. Wearne is an now a UOW Honorary Fellow, after spending more than 18 years teaching creative writing at the university. He is best known for his novel The Nightmarkets (1986), which won numerous awards, including the NBC Banjo Award. 

A/Prof. Wearne told RadioU said written art, which is built on the back of hundreds of hours of work, is a fully immersive experience.

“I only discover that I am obsessed with this when I step back, I just go ahead and write about whatever it is and then step back and think – oh no not again,” A/Prof. Wearne said. 

He said imagination was a crucial ingredient of his writing, which as seen him adopt the guise of many – from a forger to a drug courier to a lesbian.

“There’s a poem in this book where the speaker is a lesbina, talking about a failed obsession,” A/Prof. Wearne told RadioU’s Natasha Hopman.

Bachelor of Arts student Meagan Caster said she uses poetry to explore herself and her world and she was xcited to attend A/Prof. Wearne’s workshop.

“It’s a great way to connect to my own emotions, to think about my own emotions in a different way and sort of get them out of my body,” she said. 

Creative writing student Mia Knight said she was eager for the opportunity to meet the influential poet and learn from the best.

“I am really keen to work on form, learning exactly what I should and shouldn’t be doing,” Ms Knight said. 

UOW Literary Society president Tao Gower-Jones said he was ecstatic at the opportunity for students to get first-hand experience. 

“Nothing is more exciting than experiencing the expertise of a professional in your chosen field and it is incredible to see young writers and art enthusiasts gather and have the opportunity to learn from others,” Ms Gower-Jones said. 

A/Prof. Wearne will speak about his new book and read from it at an event in Building 25, Room 128, 5.30pm tomorrow.