This is me … Annie Forester. After being on the planet for fifty-three years, having been a physician for twenty-nine years, a wife for twenty-one years and a mum for seventeen years, I’ve decided to create a website to share my writing, some of it on the verge of being published.
I write poetry because, to me, this feels like living. I write when things are hard because strong emotions almost write themselves. I also write about the happy and astounding or inexplicable things that happen, otherwise I may forget. ‘Junior doctoring’ nearly killed off my poetry and writing skills described as ‘elegant’ by my high school English teacher. I mostly abbreviate or write in note form at work. Beauty is the last thing on my mind, rather I produce essential records. Although writing for work is literally the definition of a chore, I’ve found that poetry and medical notes have brevity in common, so in some ways, they are compatible. Experiences in General (Family) medicine is among other things about knowing humanity at its rawest and most honest, and this reality also lends to writing. I’ve written recently for an anthology about the experiences around death, a collaboration between medics and the humanities in some of the Northern UK Universities, aimed at conversing about death and helping people with loss. This comes out in September 2019.
I started writing in earnest to be part of a group of poets in Dar es salaam over 15 years ago, when working out there for a Christian charity. The group was started by a friend who worked for the government. Listening to poets, reading and performing, brought a responsive writing form; others experienced this as students that I was mentoring came along for the ride. Creative juices flowed in these sessions and gave us great pleasure: The pieces ranged from reflections on life and our respective spiritual journeys or whatever frivolity arose in our heads. Many of these students have shared poems on Facebook and the like since then.