Born in Melbourne, 1932, Lorraine McGuigan grew up in Sydney. Due to her mother’s illness she left school aged thirteen to care for her baby sisters. In 1954 she hitchhiked around Europe; in London later that year she met her future husband, Kevin; they settled in Melbourne.
When the youngest of their six children started school, Kevin persuaded her to do an arts degree at Deakin University. After graduating with majors in literature and philosophy, Lorraine joined the Wednesday Writers; in time her short stories were published and received awards. She held the Margaret Hazzard Short Story Trophy in 2000 and 2002.
In 1995 Lorraine attended the Monash University workshop and when Dr Lyn Hatherly moved to Queensland she asked her to take over as leader of the group and to also edit the journal, Poetry Monash. Lorraine has continued in both roles ever since. In 1998, a Sue Nicholson scholarship provided a memorable nine-day stay at the Wollongong University poetry workshop.
Lorraine has read her poetry at Melbourne venues like Molly Bloom’s, Melbourne Poets Union, The Dancing Dog and The Society of Women Writers (Vic); also in Ballarat, Castlemaine and Guildford. She has been a Featured Reader in several Writers Festivals. Her first poetry collection What the Body Remembers shared 2nd place in the Anne Elder Award 2004. Extracts were read in three ABC PoeticA programs.
Two years after her husband’s death, Lorraine joined the Ballarat Branch of Solace and recently undertook training as a Support Worker. It is most rewarding to help those who are widowed, the way she herself has been helped.