Shelley Hansen - Lady of Lines

My Story

It all began in 1872 (!) - when my great-grandmother booked a passage on the wrong ship to the wrong country. Now, if she had been able to read and write, she would have known the difference between America and Australia ... and I might never have been born!

But here I am, a fourth-generation resident of the Wide Bay District in Queensland, Australia, where I grew up in the medium sized regional city of Maryborough.

Very early in life I realised that reading and writing are very important if one is to arrive at the right destination, and I've had my head stuck in a book ever since! According to my mother, I wrote my first poem at the age of four. There is no surviving evidence of this, but you know how it is ... mothers just know these things! What I can say with certainty is that from a very early age, an appreciation for fine music, art, literature and poetry was instilled in me by both parents.

In my early school years I wrote little poems for my classmates. In secondary school, encouraged by two English teachers, I began to put more "rhyme and reason" into my verses, as I expanded my knowledge of poetry structure and style.

When I entered the workforce I encountered a colleague who wrote humorous poems about people and events in the office, introducing me to this lighter style of writing - which I also embraced, being called upon to pen poems for special office occasions.

As time went by, I continued to write poems on a variety of subjects, across many different styles. Some I shared with family and friends, but most were stored in a shoe box, never seeing the light of day.

For many years my husband Rod has encouraged me to "do something" with my ever-growing stock of verses, but as it is with working ladies, life is busy. Besides, I doubted that anyone beyond family and friends would be all that interested!

However as we've grown older, we have spent more time travelling by caravan across many regions of this vast country, visiting places and learning their history ... and meeting people and learning their stories. Travelling is one of our great pleasures. My Photo Gallery displays a selection of Rod's fabulous photos of our Australian journeys.

Inevitably our travel adventures have inspired more poems, this time with a distinct Australian theme - so finally, I decided to take my husband's wise advice and bring my verses out of the shoe box and into the spotlight!

Since late 2011 I have been privileged to win a number of national and regional Awards for my written work. In addition, Rod and I have won prizes for poetry performance. Since early 2012 we have been regular guests on ABC Local Radio Wide Bay 100.1 FM - in Rick Whittle's Saturday Breakfast program, presenting our original poetry to a wide audience across our region.

My debut CD of Australian Bush Poems released in September 2012 was the fulfillment of a lifelong dream! See the Merchandise page of this website for options to purchase.

In 2014 I retired from the electricity industry after 43 years in the workforce. I continue to write and perform my poetry in a variety of settings - from historical celebrations and bush poetry festivals to informal gatherings. Rod and I specialise in duo recitals - often performed in period costume in recognition of our long heritage in this region and the historical content of many of my poems. Check us out in the Photo Gallery.

During the years 2014 and 2015 I was privileged to win two of the most prestigious prizes in Australia for traditional written verse - the Babies of Walloon trophy for the 2014 Ipswich International Written Poetry Competition, and the Bush Lantern trophy as Queensland Written Bush Poetry Champion for 2015. Then in 2017 I won first prize in the Humorous Section of the Australian Written Bush Poetry Championships.

A lifelong dream was fulfilled with the release of my debut CD An Australian Journey in 2012. Then in late 2015 my book of original poetry Lady of Lines, published by Xpress Publications. You can find details of these items, along with all my poetry merchandise here

For further information and/or enquiries please use the Contact Me page to get in touch with me.

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