BACHELOR OF PROFESSIONAL WRITING, 2003
Chris Jones graduated from the University of Canberra in 2003 with a Bachelor of Professional Writing. Chris, who lives with schizophrenia, enjoys writing poetry as an outlet calling it "the best kind of therapy".
Chris was born in Malaysia and grew up travelling the world alongside his father, who worked with the Royal Australian Air Force. Eventually settling in Canberra, Chris enrolled in the Bachelor of Professional Writing and excelled in the classes of Poetry and the Imagination.
Writing had always been an interest for Chris. "I started writing from a young age and I began writing poetry after I had a mental breakdown at 16. It really helped me get through that time," he shares. Living with a mental illness and wanting to help support others inspired Chris to write his poetry book, Where There's Light There's Shadow. "I use it to explore my feelings and thoughts, which can be quite dark. I hope that people who read my book, especially those with a mental illness, might be able to relate to my writing and it will make them feel better," Chris says.
Chris enjoyed his time studying at UC and often reflects on this time happily. "I really enjoyed my time at UC. I particularly liked learning about the poetry writing style and often find myself reflecting back on those lessons." The incredible imagination of Chris is present in all his works with the inclusion of flying carpets made from butterfly wings, mirrors constructed from owl eyes, and a monochrome rainbow projected from sunlight shining through acid rain.
Poems by Chris have been published in many magazines, from the university magazines Curio and First, and several other publications including Ripple Magazine, Short and Twisted, Velour Zine, Masques and Leap Out. His first poetry book, Dreaming on the Edge of Darkness was published in 1997 and his family was not surprised that he has gone on to published another book, saying "he has always been writing".
Writing poetry is not the only interest or outlet for Chris. He also enjoys painting and visual arts, designing the cover art for his new book. "Painting has always been a hobby of mine and I wanted to combine it with my writing," he says.
Chris also works part time at the Law Chambers and continues to work and plan other projects like writing a novel. "It's a science fiction set in a psychiatric ward. I have the idea I just need to get it written down."