Feast of words at Beaconsfield

EARLY morning crowds gathered at  Beaconsfield for the final day of the Festival of Golden Words yesterday.

Free ``Poet's Breakfast'' readings  opened proceedings as a collection of performers shared works with their audiences at Two Door Cafe from 7.30am.

While popular children's author Andy Griffiths was preparing for a free presentation at Beaconsfield Primary School, a moving discussion was conducted at the event's marquee one venue.

Festival organiser and writer Stephen Dando-Collins was joined by panellists Sally Dingo, Russell Eldridge and professors Henry Reynolds and Peter Stanley  as they explored their ``From ANZAC to Afghanistan, the Cost of War'' subject.

Dingo, Australian author and wife of media personality Ernie Dingo, explained her own outlook on life as a result of her family's involvement with war.

She said her own development had been greatly influenced by her father, who lived as a prisoner of war for three years.

``I appreciate being alive,'' Dingo said.

``You have a bad day and you tell yourself `I've got to keep going -  If my father could be a prisoner of war for three 1/2 years, I can get through this'.''

The panel covered the country's apparent fascination with war, and discussed how the same families kept giving to Australia's defence efforts, regardless of their past losses.

A literary quiz, the role of literary prizes and their inspiration for writers and a flashback to Tasmania's anaesthetic history were included in the day's programme.

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