Biography Alice Guerin Crist
Alice was born in 1876 in Ireland, her parents migrated to Australia when she was just 2 years old. Her Irish heritage never left her and intermingled with the unique Australian flavour – her poetry is unique.
Her first book of Poetry named ‘When Rody came to Ironbark’ was published in 1927 in Sydney, Australia. Up until this point in her life she had some of her poetry published in the ‘Catholic Advocate’ in Brisbane and her following increased with eagerness as they looked forward to her weekly contributions of verse. Feedback received from her readers made it quite apparent that they wanted her poetry in a more permanent form.
Through her connection with the Dean of Nudgee College in Brisbane he was able to persuade her to make her work available to a much wider audience. After agreeing to do this she asked Mr D. G. Purton (Dean) to choose the selection on her behalf, being a lady of modesty he agreed to
do this. He felt quite confident that her poetry would meet ‘with a more than favourable reception’
Her verse interpreted the life and character of the pioneers of Australia, having a special appeal to the Irish migrants of Australia. Alice seemed to be under the spell of the bush, and the magic of the wattle time.
As a teacher and the wife of a settler she knew every phase of Australian pioneering. She is, however at her best when drawing word pictures of her native Ireland whose warmth of heart and flashes of humour she is able to share with the reader in just a few strokes of narrative.