2021/22 WAPI Emerging Poets Program Participants

Congratulations to the successful applicants in the 2021/22 WAPI Emerging Poets Program;

Adele Aria

Lisa Collyer

Alan Fyfe

Noemie Cecilia Huttner-Koros

Vanessa Karas

Saoirse Nash

Kaya Ortiz

Yvonne Patterson

Jaya Penelope

Francesca Jurate Sasnaitis

Adele Aria is a queer disabled writer-activist and artist. Their writing is informed by lived experiences and studies focusing on human rights, social justice, and domestic and family violence (DFV). A person of colour, they are grateful to have grown up in Boorloo of Whadjuk Noongar Country. Adele’s writing has featured in international and Australian literary and academic publications including To Hold the Clouds anthology, Westerly Magazine, Mascara Literary Review, and Archer Magazine. Adele has been awarded fellowships with To The Front, Westerly, and Centre for Stories. They are commencing a PhD addressing the phenomenon of DFV in so-called Australia.

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Lisa Collyer is a poet and educator. She writes poetry with a focus on women’s bodies and how their experiences shape their everyday lives. She is a current INSPIRE writer-in-residence with The National Trust of Western Australia, and an invited writer-in-residence for Katharine Susannah Prichard Writers’ Centre for 2022, a participant in the Westerly Writers’ Development Program, and is a member of the Voicebox collective. She has been published in numerous anthologies and online journals, including Cordite Poetry Review, Not Very Quiet, Rabbit Journal, and the pending Westerly Magazine (66.2).

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Alan Fyfe is a Jewish writer originally from Mandurah, the unceded country of the Binjareb Nation.  His work has been featured in diverse publications, including Cottonmouth, Westerly, and Overland.  He was an inaugural editor of UWA creative writing journal, Trove, and a prose editor for American web journal, Unlikely Stories.  Alan is a winner of the Karl Popper Philosophy Award.  He has been shortlisted for the T.A.G Hungerford Prize, for the Judith Wright Poetry Prize, and for the Chaffinch Press Aware Prize.

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Noemie Cecilia Huttner-Koros is a queer Jewish performance-maker, writer, teaching artist, dramaturg and community organiser living on Whadjuk Noongar country. Noemie’s practice is driven by a deep belief in the social, political and communal role of art and often engages with sites and histories where ecological crisis, queer culture and composting occur. Her work has taken place in theatres, galleries, alleyways, dinner parties and blanket forts. The Lion Never Sleeps, a walking performance tracing Perth’s queer history and the HIV/AIDS crisis,was nominated for 4 Performing Arts WA awards and was named in Australian Book Review’s ‘Arts Highlights of 2019’. Her poetry has been featured in Australian Poetry Anthology 2020, Rabbit Poetry Journal, Perth Poetry Festival and she was the winner of the 2020 Venie Holmgren Environmental Poetry Prize. 

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Vanessa Karas is writing her first volume of poetry entitled Conversations with an Insomniac. Her poems explore themes of love, anxiety, insomnia and popular culture. She is a PhD candidate at UWA researching the ‘Everyday’ in the work of New York poet Frank O’Hara. Her background is in creative writing, film and literary studies. Her hope is to affect readers positively through her writing, through providing a sense of relatability and inspiring change.

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Saoirse Nash is a freelance event organiser, performance poet and one half of indie arts org Hectic Measures Press. She has worked behind the scenes and on stage with a collection of collectives including the National Young Writers Festival, Spoken Word Perth, Perth Poetry Festival, and Haxa House a to create arts events that entertain, challenge, and propagate in backyards, pubs, libraries and across the world wide web. She likes to grow flowers you can eat and community you can feast on.

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Kaya Ortiz is an emerging writer and poet from the southern islands of Mindanao and lutruwita/Tasmania. Kaya’s obsessions include language, history, and cultural and queer identity. Their writing has appeared in Portside Review, Westerly, To Hold the Clouds and After Australia, among others. In 2019, they were a Hot Desk Fellow at the Centre for Stories in Boorloo/Perth and a participant in Express Media’s Toolkits: Poetry program. Kaya is currently studying, working, and slowly collating a full-length poetry collection. For now, Kaya is living in Boorloo/Perth, where their name means ‘hello’ in the Nyoongar language.

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Yvonne Patterson is originally from New Zealand and has lived most of her life in Perth. She enjoys poetry after a career in human services in clinical psychology and policy in health, mental health, disability, community and justice areas. Her poetry explores borders and fault lines between and around us as human beings living within social and political contexts. It draws from her career experience and her personal interests in arts, history, science, politics and social equity. Her writing is nurtured with encouragement from her partner Paula. Her poetry has been published in Creatrix, Not Very Quiet, Grieve Anthology, Writers Resist and several Anthologies. Her poem “Dreamlands Hopscotch” was commended in the 2018 Tom Collins Poetry Prize.

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Jaya Penelope is a poet and storyteller and has been a part of Perth’s poetry and performance community for twenty years. She has hosted poetry readings, performed at local and interstate festivals, self-published three zines and a cd (all vintage items now) and been published in various literary journals. Jaya won the Poetry d’Amour Prize in 2014 and was recently longlisted for the Heroines Women’s Writing Award. Her spoken word collaboration with musician Gosia Winter, ‘you knocked out my walls”, was featured on Radio National’s Poetica. She is currently collaborating with composer/songwriter Sophie Moleta, who is creating an album of songs from Jaya’s poetry (forthcoming). Jaya runs Creative Writing Circles and storytelling nights from her home, and hosts poetry and mindfulness weekends at The Origins Retreat Centre in Balingup several times a year.

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Francesca Jurate Sasnaitis is a writer and artist of Lithuanian background born in Wurundjeri country | Melbourne. She currently lives on Whadjuk Nyoongar Boodja | Perth where she earned a PhD in Creative Writing from the University of Western Australia. In collaboration with artist and printmaker Marian Crawford, she has published several limited-edition artists’ books, including Gintaras—Amber (2019). Her poetry, short fiction, essays, and reviews have been published in Australian Book Review, Cordite Poetry Review, Meniscus Literary Journal, Southerly Journal, Vilnius Review, and Westerly Magazine amongst others. Her awards include first prize in the Poetry d’Amour Love Poetry Contest, 2019, and first prize for prose and for poetry in the Australian Lithuanian Days Writing Competition, 2016.

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