Guest Blog #3: Word on the Street writing group

Since 2015, State Library of Queensland has partnered with Upbeat Arts (formerly School of Hard Knocks) to host the Word on the Street creative writing program. The group meets weekly at The Edge Mezzanine. Word on the Street is a creative writing course that helps participants find their voice on the page. Upbeat Arts delivers tailored arts and cultural programs, for artists and educators to work with marginalised communities, promoting social inclusion, positive mental health and overall well-being.

Meet the participants – Andrew Greentree

Andrew Greentree

About Andrew:

I wasted a whole life trying to find myself and finally realised I was under the couch.

Andrew’s involvement with Word on the Street:

Andrew has been a member of the program since February 2019 and says “I was deeply moved during a workshop with Joelle Taylor. She hugged us all and remembered everybody’s name.” “Our mid year Upbeat Arts concert was the first time I have ever read in public”.

About the two pieces of writing:

  1. "The Ultimate Empty" – trying to handle what’s beyond my comprehension. Eg. Trauma and sudden change
  2. "Strung out on words" – written during the workshop with Joelle Taylor, it comments on the frustrations of self-expressions.


I open my eyes - I cant understand what I’m seeing
Why is the floor the ceiling?
Why is the ocean falling ?

Overwhelmed by magical sunshine through impossible sea taking flight …

… my senses reeling, banshee winds screaming - My overclocking heartbeat deafening -

tearing away any comprehension, taking all that mattered -

my wife, my house, all of my life …

until the wind becomes whisper, the atmosphere becomes thin, hard vacuum takes my last breath …

and a final image filling my vision, bottomless black gash ripping across the blue sky - the ultimate empty and an impossible number of stars …


Shiny Baubles, tricky trinkets, pretty beads strung …
     …STRUNG OUT on words, STRESSED, stressed out threads of thoughts -
    Grown from seeds -
SEEDS, ideas spouting in repetitive patterns of prose,
POSE - need be to be seen,
Herd of cloned memes - Memes to roam free -
            FREE to express me … AND


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