Hopes writing is not on the wall for centre's uncertain future

WRITERS need as much support as they can get, according to an Orange-based poet. 

With the future of the Central West Writers’ Centre still in doubt, founding member Diana Bell Brooks has voiced her concerns about the void left by discontinued state government funding.

Ms Bell Brooks released a collection of poetry, The Fortune Bird, in September.

She said the centre assisted her with the book’s launch, publicity and even helped her organise a reading in Melbourne.

“It gave me experience I never would have gotten otherwise,” she said.

She believed central west writers would be at a loss without the centre.

“Poetry in Australia is a very vibrant art form, but it takes a long time to find its way out of the city,” she said.

“It all needs nurturing, writers need nurturing - writers don’t develop without other writers or other support.”

Orange City councillor Glenn Taylor moved in December to rename the centre the Banjo Paterson Writing Centre to recognise the Orange-born bush poet.

Councillors agreed for council staff to report on the financial implications of running the centre.

Cr Taylor said he still supported the proposal. 

“It is a good, tangible way of promoting writing and I believe it’s a very effective way of celebrating Paterson in Orange,” he said.

He said supporting the centre would also be more cost effective than the $88,000 mooted for a hat-shaped pergola last year.

The centre needs $37,000 to open for its 18th year - it was formed in 1996 to promote literary activities in the central west. 

An Orange City Council spokesman said progress had been made on the proposal and a report would come to the council within the next two meetings.

danielle.cetinski@fairfaxmedia.com.au

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