Background of M.J. Gibbs
I am an Australian author (M. J. Gibbs) and poet. I grew up in Brisbane, in the leafy suburbs of Graceville with a brother and sister, Scottish comics to read, cubbies to build and a bike to ride. My childhood was carefree, happy and imaginative. As a teenager, I enjoyed playing volleyball, going to a youth group and working at a book- shop in the city.
My adult years have seen me raising 4 children, teaching secondary school and travelling. Imagine meeting illustrator of Roald Dahl, Quentin Blake in Cheltenhem, UK. The world of school is a wonderful setting, just think Harry Potter, Matilda and Quarks Academy. My children’s book clubs flourished for primary aged children after school – a time of creativity, social interaction and connection with my own children and their friends in the local community. Parents encouraged the book clubs in every possible way.
Always present was a passion for children’s stories, writing and art.
Nowadays, I’m retired and living in beautiful Mapleton on the Sunshine Coast Hinterland with lush gardens, coastal views and a writing space called The Loft. In addition, I have 10 grand-children who are my sounding boards for reading. I take great pleasure in meeting authors, attending literary seminars and conferences and this makes me happy to connect to others. My husband Bill listens to my poems and is a terrific off sider with story- telling.
In 2019 I attended the Bologna Book fair in Italy, immersing myself in thousands of books and talking to talented artists, designers and publishers. Not surprisingly, I also love keeping journals and travel diaries that bring joy to my life. From Dublin in Ireland to Florence in Italy, Fez in Morocco and Shanghai in China, I observe, write and record.
In the next decade, I would like to continue being enthusiastic, observant, appreciative and creative.
M.J. Gibbs - Short Bio
M. J. Gibbs has an innate curiosity about people and places when finding ideas for the stories and poems she writes. From Booknook Blue in Maryborough and Kenmore, Brisbane to the Bookloft in Mapleton, Marg has reached out to children in local communities to bring a love of reading and story telling. The book clubs enabled her own four children and their friends a golden opportunity to connect, be creative and enjoy a bookish program involving craft, games and outings.
Marg has published poetry in magazines and anthologies, The Magic Fairy Wish and Musical Christmas Tree, Alone in a Dark Room, Phantom Moon, The Hope Tree and Art Room in the NSW School magazine. Her stories about the Brisbane flood have been enjoyed by many.
Her recent picture book called Arriving Home, about Maggie the Magpie Goose and Eric Echidna was well received in the community especially with the help of 9 local artists who illustrated it. Its message is clear – friendship, belonging and community.
At Home with Marg
A book that means a lot to me – Under Milkwood by Dylan Thomas
Books I love to read aloud – Dr Seuss books, Margaret Mahy and The Psalms.
My guiltiest pleasure at home – Cheese.
My favourite magazine – Australia Country Style.
Music – Celtic, Blues, The Beatles, Neil Diamond and The Bee Gees, Gospel.
Grumpy when – I lose things, and I expect too much of myself.