meanwhile in Australia

August 5, 2021

If you’ve been curious about poetry in Australia, or even if you’ve never given it a second thought, August is an apt time to get acquainted with poets and poems from the world’s sixth-largest country. In fact, August 2021 has been designated as the nation’s inaugural Poetry Month and the calendar is packed with readings, workshops, broadcasts, conversations, collaborations, and much more. Have a look.

It has been more than two years since we mentioned the Sunshine Coast Hinterland Poetry Trail in Queensland, Australia. Happily, the Pente Poets have been hard at work in the meantime and the trail “was launched in fine style in December 2017,” according to poet Judith Bandidt. The trail winds through “hinterland, urban centres and coastline,” with poems carved in sandstone, wood, and metal marking the route.

Congratulations to the Pente Poets for completing this ambitious project.

Read more about the trail, the poets, the poems (including audio), and the process, on the Pente Poets website and on Facebook.

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image: Maleny Trail poem by Lyn Browne, excerpted from “Black cockatoos”

meanwhile, in Melbourne

September 9, 2017

In Melbourne, Australia, New Shoots “invited 10 of Australia’s most spirited poets, Bruce Pascoe, Maria Takolander, Bonny Cassidy, Autumn Royal, Ryan Prehn, Elena Gomez, Duncan Hose, Chris Wallace Crabbe, Carissa Lee Godwin, and Cameron Lowe to create a series of poems that respond to sites, spores, histories and seeds across Royal Botanic Gardens Victoria.” The poems appear in the gardens and on city trams through September. Read the poems on Red Room Company and learn more in The Sydney Morning Herald.

poetry walk Down Under

January 4, 2016

Pente poets - Maroochy Bushland

The Pente Poets, a group of poets and poetry lovers on eastern Australia’s beautiful Sunshine Coast, have been sharing and publishing poetry for ten years. Over the course of the last year, they have examined sites all along the Sunshine Coast with the intention of creating a Poetry Trail. At the same time, they were “seeking inspiration for their writing in parks, gardens, walking trails and other public spaces in a number of locations on the Sunshine Coast encompassing Blackall Range, the hinterland and the coastline from Coolum to Caloundra.” They compiled more than 200 of their poems into a book, Hinterland to Headland: A Poetry Trail for the Sunshine Coast.

While a permanent poetry trail is still in the works, this month Pente Poets will present a weekend “ephemeral poetry trail,” Hinterland to Headland, that will offer themed poetry readings in four iconic environment and heritage venues. The project is funded through the Sunshine Coast Council Regional Arts Development Fund and supported by The Sunshine Coast Environment Council in partnership with SCCA Creative Alliance.

If you happen to find yourself on the Sunshine Coast on January 22-24, 2016, join them! In any case, you can find out more about the poetry trail, including many photos of the region, on the Pente Poets website.
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photo: Upland Trail, Maroochy Bushland and Botanic Gardens, Tanawha

poetry on the move…

July 15, 2013

Sydney street cleaning trucksYou might think that a truck would move too fast to be a good venue for displaying poetry. But not those street-sweepers. With their big metal brushes spinning, they plow slowly up and down the street, giving someone plenty of time to enjoy a poem.

That was the idea when the Sydney (Australia) Writers’ Festival posted 19 poems, curated by Luke Davies, the 2012 Prime Minister’s Literary Award-winning poet, on the side of 11 “street-cleansing trucks.” Poems were selected from both classic and contemporary writers with the idea to sweep a little whimsey into everyday life.

More on one of the poets here.
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photo

poetry on the bus…

July 8, 2013

At One Hundred by Elisabeth Yarbakhsh

Each year, the winning poems from the Sue Boynton Poetry Contest are first turned into beautiful placards by Egress Studio and then installed inside Whatcom Transportation Authority buses that serve the entire county. This year’s poems should be in place soon (we’ll let you know), but meanwhile, here’s another poetry-on-the-bus story.

Canberra, Australia, is celebrating its 100th birthday this year and the festivities included a poetry contest. From 270 submissions, three judges selected ten winning poems to display on the city’s ACTION buses. While one or two poems per bus is the norm, all ten were on display in a single bus for the project’s official opening in late June. At that event — passengers and poets bundled for June’s deep-winter weather — the poets also read their poems aloud to an attentive (if not captive) audience.

Read more in The Canberra Times and see all of the winning poems as well as the ten ‘shortlisted’ poems on the Poetry in ACTION page.

your winter getaway…

December 22, 2012

PIFFWhen the short, cold days of winter are really taking their toll on your good cheer, why not head for Melbourne, Australia, and the Poetry in Film Festival (PIFF)?

“Entrants in the festival are given a piece of modern poetry. From there they are free to interpret the poem in the form of a 4-7 minute short film however they see fit.”

There are judges. There are awards. There is a screening, at Palace Cinema Como in Melbourne, Sunday, February 24, 2013 (screenings in Sydney, Brisbane and Perth in March). And of course, there are after-parties.

Don’t let the Northwest winter get you down. Learn more about PIFF.

unlocked anthologyAt correctional centers in New South Wales, Australia, a project known as “Unlocked” “unlocks the potential of inmates through the transformative power of poetry.” Intensive workshops conducted by Australian poets guide the participants through “every stage of the writing process, from the initial exercises and experimentations, through the editing and rewriting process, to recording, performing and publishing their work in a professionally designed print anthology. Piloted in Sydney in 2010, the project has now entered its third year.”

Read and hear poems and find out more about this worthwhile program from the Red Room Company.

on the bus down under…

January 12, 2012

Great Barrier Reef poemPoems on the bus soothe and inspire. They offer respite from boredom and relief from ugly advertisements. Getting your poem on the bus is, of course, an important benefit of being a Sue Boynton Poetry Contest winner. Reading poems is also a perk for bus riders in Australia’s capital, Canberra, where Poetry in ACTION has commissioned and displayed a series of poems each year since 2007. Visit the Poetry in Action website to see larger (PDF) versions of the 2011 winning poems and find a link to previous-year winners.

poets of a feather…

December 16, 2011

JimbalaAdd this to the in-case-you-missed-it file: Pigeon Poetry. The Red Room Company is a non-profit organization based in Sydney, Australia. They “create, promote and publish new poetry by Australian writers, in unusual ways.”

Unusual indeed: “The Red Room Company commissioned eight poets from across the country to each write a poem that would be raced by thoroughbred pigeons on August 3, 2008.”

You can read about the race, the poets, the poems and the pigeons at the Pigeon Poetry website. Pictured is the day’s champion, Jimbala.

What’s on your poetry flight log for today?

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