As Anni Webster, I’ve been scribbling with words all my life, and now write narrative essays and prose poetry. As Ann Webster-Wright, I’m a semi-retired academic with a research and teaching background in Education and Health. In both guises, I draw on Eastern and Western philosophy to explore how people make meaning from their life experiences. I’ve facilitated groups in areas of creative writing, mindfulness, everyday philosophy and life review.
For the past four years, from 2017 to 2020, I’ve been one of 10 international finalists in the New Philosopher award, writing on topics of communication, power, family, time and death, in everyday life. My book, The Texture of Time, an historical memoir about ageing and authenticity, highlights changes in women’s lives over the past 200 years. It was selected as a finalist in the 2017 Hard Copy Development program, run by the ACT Writers Centre and funded through the Australia Council. In 2019, an essay from the book was published in Bjelke Blues, edited by Edwina Shaw. In 2017, another essay from the book won first prize in the Society of Women Writers’ national non-fiction competition. Titled An Appetite for Awe, the essay considers how cultural stories affect our experience of place. I’ve had essays published on topics ranging from Hope to Peace, Authenticity to Mindfulness, in Griffith Review, the Ethics Centre, and Literature in North Queensland. An extract from my memoir, Homecoming, was published in Patti Miller’s ‘Writing True Stories’ (Allen and Unwin, 2017). In 2018, I undertook a Varuna Residency.
As a knock-kneed nerdy philosopher, I learnt to dance when I turned sixty – a lifetime dream of mine. I joined WaW Dance, a creative ensemble of mature-aged women performing innovative responses to issues facing women. We have performed at QPAC with Expressions Dance Company, and the Judith Wright Centre with Vulcana Women’s Circus. WaW and Vulcana’s performance, ‘As if No-one is Watching,’ at Brisbane’s Powerhouse, drew on my poem ‘There comes a time’. As well as dancing and writing, I’m passionate about supporting younger women, especially those struggling with domestic abuse or workplace inequities in all their forms. I’m also engaged in facilitating mature-aged women making a transition between their professional career and a meaningful, active life beyond traditional work. With friends, we are developing a network of ageing activists.