Featured Member – Di Baker
Describing herself as having been a shy and sensitive child, Melbourne-born Di Baker grew to love the expressive power of words. She wrote poetry and no doubt encouraged the same in her pupils when she took up primary school teaching. The Gold Coast has been her home since 1982.
Not surprisingly then, Di Baker will be known by most GWCA members as convenor of the All Genres support group which used to take place every first Saturday of the month at Pacific Fair community rooms. More recently the new Broadbeach Library provides the venue. Over the 14 years that Di has taken on the mentorship of this group, aspiring writers have shared and discussed their work with her and other members.
During her life she has published a novel Southern Sun Rising with Zeus, and written eight more. The ABC published her radio play and her poetry has appeared in Melbourne magazines, one poem winning an award. Her poems were read during the eulogies of recently departed GCWA friends, Luke Lazarides and Rina Vardi. Now she is working on a series of books for children.
Whilst in office as Vice-President of GCWA, Di organised a ‘Meet the Author’ luncheon at Royal Pines. With such an entertaining line-up of writers as Simon Higgins, Chris Nyst, Kim Wilkins, Robin Burrows and Michael Jacobsen. It must have been a scintillating evening.
Showing something of the spirit of her father, whose passion was astronomy and who dreamed of developing more powerful lenses for telescopes, Di Baker much admires people who have striven to overcome obstacles. High in her esteem stand the brilliant theoretical physicist Stephen Hawking, Irish-American memoirist Frank McCourt of Angela’s Ashes fame, and British Statesman Winston Churchill whose famous exhortation ‘Never give up…’ inspired a small nation to great things.
As for her taste in literature, Di regularly writes an e-Writeabout report from the All Genres meeting which usually includes a short illustrative example of excellent prose. Last month it was from Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte.