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Tributes & MessagesWillem Groenewegen

Dear site, dear readers,

My sincerest condolences first of all.

As in Keith Armstrong’s case, my fond memories concern mostly the international exchanges she was involved in. She performed, together with the Poetry Virgins, at a poetry festival I organised in Groningen, the Netherlands, in 1996. As I said, fond memories, because she was so good at conveying to young students – like myself at the time – the pleasures of poetry, both reading and performance-wise. I can safely say that their performance then inspired quite a few aspiring young poets to actively participate in creative writing/performances classes.

Poets from Groningen also went to Newcastle frequently, and she was sometimes willing to put some of us up for a night or two. I’ll never forget the advice she gave me when things started to happen for me literary-wise and I called her from Holland to ask her how she coped with success: eat lots of ice-cream! So I did and it helped. Thanks Julia.

To Bev, Scarlet and Florrie: she will be sorely missed and I sincerely hope all the memories on this site will help you get through this.

Willem Groenewegen