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A HABIT OF WRITING
Helen Jacobs wrote her first poem nearly fifty years ago in response to a TV programme on nuclear war. Elaine Jakobsson in her life as a local body politician and environmental activist - mayor of Eastbourne, she worked for the Women's Electoral Lobby and was later appointed to the Planning Tribunal - Helen Jacobs was the name she adopted for her writing. In 1984 she launched her first collection, with five more to come over the years, and became actively involved with the poetry community in Christchurch. Aged 90, Helen lives in a retirement village, has lost her view of the Port Hills and her beloved garden, but still has a balcony of pot plants and survived a pandemic. The world continues to offer her things to write about, whether it is the lemons ripening outside her window, the jigsaw junkies in the library or a walk to the shops when she takes the long way to feel some of the joy of the hill walks she once treasured. And there are her memories of Patea, where she grew up the daughter of a railwayman. While the quickness of her legs may have gone, Helen's quickness of mind makes A Habit of Writing a delight.
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