Oma, bubba, nanna, gran – whatever we know them by, our grand and great grandmothers leave an indelible mark. Yet their matriarchal reach and rich histories are often untold or defined by stereotype, undermining the complexity and vibrancy of their lives. In this panel, three writers re-imagine their grandmothers’ lives across genre, from poetry to prose vignette and theatre performance.


Barbara Kamler

Barbara Kamler is a Melbourne-based poet and university educator. After publishing nine academic books and countless research essays, her heart turned to poetry. Leaving New Jersey (2016) is a memoir told in prose poetry. Love, regardless (2022), a gallery of fourteen long-love portraits, is based on interviews but told in syllabic verse. Sophie Stories (2024),…

Ramona Koval

Ramona Koval is a writer and journalist. Her most recent books include A Letter to Layla: Travels to our deep past and near future (Text, 2020), Bloodhound: Searching for my father (Text, 2015). Her essay ‘Goodbye and Good Luck’ appeared in the collection Split: True Stories of Leaving, Loss and New Beginnings, Edited by Lee…

Elise Esther Hearst

Elise Esther Hearst is an award-winning Melbourne-based playwright, author and performer, working and living on Boon Wurrung country. Her debut novel, One Day We’re All Going to Die, was published by Harper Collins in 2023 and was shortlisted for The Age Book of the Year Award 2024. Her second novel will be published in 2025….

Magdalena Ball

Magdalena Ball is a writer, reviewer, moderator, interviewer, Vice President of Flying Island, and Managing Editor of Compulsive Reader. Her writing has appeared in a wide range of journals and anthologies, and has won many awards. She is the author of several novels and poetry books, most recently, Bobish, a verse-memoir of her great-grandmother Rebecca…