This is me … Annie Forester. After being on the planet for fifty-five years, a physician for thirty years, a wife for twenty-two years, and a mum for nineteen years, I’ve decided to create a website to share my writing, some of it 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, astounding or inexplicable things that happen, otherwise I may forget they even happened. ‘Junior doctoring’ nearly killed off my poetry and writing skills, which were appreciated by my high school English teacher.
At work, I abbreviate or write in note form. 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’re compatible. Experiences in General (Family) medicine is, among other things, about knowing humanity at its rawest and most honest. 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 came out in September 2019 and is part of a free collection ‘Continuing Bonds.’
I started writing in earnest as 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. 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 the students have shared poems on Facebook and other social media since then.