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6th March 2019

"I have always held a special connection to the Boodjar" – Daniel Hansen reflects on New Shoots WA

By Daniel Hansen

Image of "I have always held a special connection to the Boodjar" – Daniel Hansen reflects on New Shoots WA

Daniel Hansen was one of four WA poets commissioned for Red Room Poetry's New Shoots WA. You can read his poetry on Red Room online.

This project to me has been quite the eye opener. I have felt highly honoured to be involved with such well-established writers, yet it has also been very overwhelming at the same time. I have come to realise that I have a lot to learn as a writer. This project has inspired me to take up a writing course to further develop my writing skills. I am grateful to all the people involved for their high level of professionalism and kind words, when I felt like I was not on the level.

As an Aboriginal man, I have always held a special connection to the Boodjar, and a lot does come to mind when thinking of different mallee species. There are a lot of esoteric beliefs involved when it comes to some mallee trees. I wish I could have expressed more of my personal dreamtime beliefs within the project, through what I know of light transference and releasing of energies, especially when it comes to certain cleansing ceremonies.

I have always used writing as a way to help cope with issues I’ve had over the years with my mental health; mainly depression. I feel that being able to express myself through different forms of writing and performing arts is a great way to deal with any problems that I have found too difficult to face at times. As I have been falling slowly back into depressive patterns due to personal issues that have unfortunately unfolded in my life, to be involved with such a friendly team of understanding people has definitely helped me through a lot of my strife I have been dealing with when it comes to my depression & anxiety.

Thank you to Red Room Poetry and everyone involved, this has been quite the learning experience for me, and I feel I can evolve so much from it.

Read our other poets' reflections on New Shoots WA: