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Drewe sets WA history in stone
Drewe sets WA history in stone

Robert Drewe has had the odd literary critic walk all over his words but he is delighted that members of the public are now doing the same on his poetry pavers in Forrest Place.

The Poetry Line, written in white granite set into reddish-grey Bruce Rock granite, is the latest public artwork to grace the new-look city meeting place.

Drewe's poem about Forrest Place's history from pre-settlement times zigzags its way from Murray Street past the children splashing in Jeppe Hein's Water Labyrinth and finishes near James Angus' biomorphic green sculpture facing Wellington Street.

Visiting his old home town from northern NSW, where he lives, Drewe inspected the trail of words after the final pavers were installed to complete the $135,000 project this week.

"It would be nice if people stopped and glanced at it every now and then," the author of such books as The Shark Net and The Drowner said. "I was very flattered to be asked to do the commission."

The poem references the area as a lake, named by white settlers as Lake Kingsford, and as a hub for banking, postal services, troops heading to war through the train station and for political rallies.

Drewe said Forrest Place had special significance for him because he passed through it nearly every day on his way to the police CIB as a young crime reporter for _The West Australian _, for which he still writes a weekly column.

Perth City Council city design manager Russell Kingdom said Drewe had been asked to write the poem to tell the story of Forrest Place to help embed a deeper meaning into the redesigned precinct.