Joe Pascoe’s career as a poet all started when he was faced with a dilemma. In need of a wedding anniversary gift for his wife, and with no ideas coming to mind, he wrote a poem instead.
He has since released two poetry books through Melbourne-based independent publisher, Readings Sideway Press. His latest book, Frangipani, is a series of poems exploring nature, childhood, work and magic.
Joe, who has vision impairment, has had a long career in the arts sector, with his love of writing poetry emerging in more recent years.
Since joining the NDIS in 2019, Joe has been able to use his funding toward art therapy, which he said has improved his mental health and allowed him to reconnect with his creativity.
“I’m very grateful for the opportunities the NDIS has given me. Art therapy has no barriers, it helps you feel alive,” Joe said.
“You can use your imagination to create images in words, picture and music, or all three if you like!”
Joe writes in a visual style that encourages readers to imagine the scene and takes inspiration from every day interactions.
“I love the things I hear people talking about on public transport and see these interactions as mini plays.”
“I take such moments and write my poems as snippets of intriguing reality.”
Joe hopes his latest book, Frangipani, will encourage readers to see that poetry is for everyone.
“I hope people will be surprised by how much they like poetry,” Joe said.
“When recognition and surprise come together it triggers an emotional response, a million miles from what they may have expected from poetry.”
In today’s current climate, Joe recognises that connecting with people is important now more than ever.
“Releasing a new poetry book in this time makes me think about how important hope is now,” Joe said.
“Art becomes more alive in times of crisis, which is happening now across the world.”
Enjoy a glimpse of Frangipani In the excerpt below:
Let me dream
In the sunshine
In perfumed wonder
Yellow and white
Flowers spinning round and around
Dizzy in the noon heat
Silently shimmering in the night.
Walk by with eyes open
Every step a simple faith
As it should be
Pearly petals in fives
With strong yellow dots
And thick green leaves in ribbed fans
Lush sprays smiling
It’s so easy the way the branches turn out
The roots nourished by messy droppings
Holding moisture and hope
And now covered by evening’s cape
As I brush my way home.
Joe’s book, Frangipani, is now available to purchase online at Reading Sideways Press.