National Guest Poets;
Juan Garrido-Slagado (SA)
Indrani Perera (Vic)
Jean Kent (NSW)
Local Guest Poets;
Patron Charmaine Papertalk Green
Born in Eradu, Charmaine is a proud Wajarri, Badimaya and Wilunyu woman of the Yamaji Nation.
A visual artist, author, poet, photographer, storyteller, social science researcher, and academic, she shares her cultural knowledge in many different spheres. Charmaine has written five books, won several awards including the prestigious Australian Literary Society Gold Medal, and her poetry is studied as part of primary & school curriculum.
Her research has been published in academic journals, her paintings and collages are displayed in exhibitions and museums, and she has contributed to significant Yamaji artistic instillations and moving images productions.
She recently completed her PhD, titled Ngatha Wangga (I Talk). Little Yamaji Woman: Big Yamaji Narratives. Her research was a female Aboriginal emotive autoethnography and included art and poetry woven together by yarning and narrative with the purpose of gaining a deeper understanding of Aboriginal identity, relationships with family, Yamaji culture, and society. Through this, Charmaine explored data sovereignty, culture traumatology, silences, evocative objects, examining colonised spaces including Cultural Interface to challenge the ‘nullius’ concepts controlling and disrupting Aboriginal knowledges.
Involved with the Yamaji Art Centre in Geraldton for over 22 years, she is currently their Chairperson. She was also a speaker at the first Indigenous Astronomy Symposium in Canberra and facilitated Yamaji Astro-Tourism in WA.
Charmaine is devoted to serving the community and does this creatively through an evidence-based lens, with honesty, humility, courage, and deep strength.
National Guest Poet Juan Garrido-Slagado (SA)
Juan Garrido-Salgado migrated to Australia from Chile in 1990, ﬂeeing the regime that burned his poetry and imprisoned and tortured him for political activism. He has published eight poetry books, and his work has been widely translated. He has also translated into Spanish works by a number of leading Australian and ﬁve Aboriginal poets for the anthology Espejo de Tierra/ Earth Mirror (2008). With Steve Brock and Sergio Holas, Juan translated the Trilingual Mapuche Poetry Anthology –Poetry of the Earth into English.
In 2019, Juan read poems from his book When I was Clandestine (Rochford Press, 2019), as part of a poetical tour at the Granada International Poetry Festival in Nicaragua, and at a series of literary events in Mexico and Cuba. His most recent collection is Hope Blossoming in their Ink (Puncher & Wattmann 2020).
National Guest Poet Indrani Perera (Vic)
Living on unceeded Wurrundjeri Country in Naarm (Melbourne), Indrani Perera is a Sri Lankan/German/Australian poet, creator of the Poet’s Express e-mail newsletter and a maker of useful things.
Indrani is the author of the poetry collections Defenestration and pas de deux published by Ginninderra Press. She won the Elyne Mitchell bonus non-fiction prize and was shortlisted for the Jean Stone Award and the Nillumbik Prize for Contemporary Writing in the Open Poetry section.
She uses bookbinding and eco-dyeing techniques to create chapbooks featuring her poetry and photography (Wild Heartand Still:Books), handmade zines (Some Thoughts On Writing a Poem For a Journal) and mini books (Promote Your Poetry). These handmade books can be bought in her online shop.
Indrani writes about the processes of creativity and writing poetry, science and technology, nature and the environment, family and increasingly, identity as she seeks to untangle the legacy of a mixed race heritage. Through her writing Indrani seeks to connect with her own experience and sense of agency as well as sharing stories to connect with an audience.
Her poetry has appeared in print and digital journals in Australia, India and the USA including Burrow, Cordite, Eye to the Telescope, Gems Zine, hākārā, More Than Melanin, Not Very Quiet, Rochford Street Review, Teesta Review, The Crow and The Victorian Writer as well as in anthologies from Geelong Writers, Ginninderra Press, Girls On Key, Melbourne Poets Union and WA Poets Inc.
Indrani founded Pocketry, the home of unheard voices in late 2019 to support and encourage emerging and aspiring poets through publication in the pint-sized Pocketry Almanack print journal. She also hosts the Pocketry Presents podcast which features interviews with established poets, explains techniques used in writing poetry and spotlights emerging poets published in the Almanack. You can learn more about Pocketry at www.pocketry.com.au where you can check out the Poet’s Toolkit, an online listing of free resources for poets.
Secretly she has always wanted to be a famous actress and loves getting up on stage to perform her poetry at open mic nights. She has featured at Girls On Key and Fresh Voices for Melbourne Spoken Word. Her poetry appears on the Ballarat Writers podcast and she has been interviewed for 3CR’s Spoken Word program. Indrani has also run an online workshop, Promoting Your Poetry, as part of the Melbourne Spoken Word Festival.
Her latest project is The Circus of Similes — an online poetry portal where you can download print ephemera to inspire your creative process and write new poetry. It’s a mashup of word games, children’s toys, paper craft, book binding and poetry. You can forget the daily, for a little while and wander through its tens at www.thecircusofsimiles.com.
When she’s not writing poetry, you’ll find her riding her bike along the Ferny Creek trail or playing board games. You can read Indrani’s blog about writing and creating at www.indraniperera.com or find her on Instagram @indraniperera.
National Guest Poet Jean Kent (NSW)
Jean Kent is a Lake Macquarie (NSW)-based poet. She is the author of nine books. The most recent is The Shadow Box (Pitt Street Poetry, 2023), a book-length sequence based on the experiences of her maternal grandparents during and shortly after World War 1.
Born in Chinchilla, Qld, in 1951, Jean grew up in rural Queensland: in small towns from the Gulf of Carpentaria to the NSW border; on her grandparents’ grazing property on the Darling Downs; and in Toowoomba. She fell in love with reading poetry (particularly by Dylan Thomas and Gerard Manley Hopkins) while she was at secondary school.
In 1970, while she was completing a BA (majoring in psychology) at the University of Queensland, her first poems were published in literary magazines. Early work under her maiden name, Jean Sharp, was included in the anthology, Mother I’m Rooted (ed: Kate Jennings, 1975). Although her poems and stories from then on appeared regularly in literary magazines (especially Westerly, an early encourager of her work), she did not expect to be ‘a poet’, and her initial focus was on fiction.
Jean Kent’s first book, Verandahs (Hale & Iremonger, 1990) won the Anne Elder Prize and the Dame Mary Gilmore Award and was short-listed for the NSW State Literary Awards. Her third collection, The Satin Bowerbird (Hale & Iremonger, 1998), won the Wesley Michel Wright Prize. The manuscript of her fourth book, Travelling with the Wrong Phrasebooks, was highly commended for the ACT Alec Bolton Award.
Awards she has received for individual poems and stories include the Patricia Hackett Prize; National Library Poetry Prize; City of Springvale Short Story Award; joint runner-up for the Newcastle Poetry Prize; Josephine Ulrick Prize; Somerset Poetry Prize and the Dorothy Porter Prize.
The Literature Board of the Australia Council has awarded her several grants, including six months residencies at its Keesing Studio in Paris in 1994 and 2011. Poems from her time in Paris have appeared in The Satin Bowerbird, Travelling with the Wrong Phrasebooks (Pitt Street Poetry, 2012) and, with artwork by her husband, Martin Kent (formerly Kriauciunas), in Paris in my Pocket (PSP, 2016). She has also been granted a residency at Varuna and an Established Writer’s Residence at the Katharine Susannah Pritchard Centre, Perth (2009).
Her poetry has been translated into Chinese, German and Romanian, and set for study in schools and universities in Australia and Switzerland. She has judged numerous literary prizes, most notably the NSW Literary Award and the Newcastle Poetry Prize (with Dennis Haskell). She has also co-edited several anthologies: the most recent is This Gift, This Poem (Puncher & Wattmann, 2021), poems of solace and hope.
Jean has worked in a variety of jobs: from lift driving to making hand-painted clothes; educational guidance of children with disabilities; counselling of students and staff in TAFE colleges; and, most recently, teaching creative writing and mentoring other poets. She is currently writing full-time, completing Alphabetical Rues, a new collection of poems set in Paris, with artwork by Martin.
Local Guest Poet Lisa Collyer
Lisa Collyer is a poet and educator living and working in Boorloo (Perth). She writes poetry about women’s bodies like the jagged edge of a can opened-up. Her transient life living in most parts of Australia, Christmas Island, Rome, and Malaysia enriches her poetry with conversation Italian and Malay language. Much of her work can be described as non-fiction drawing on her varied employment, including, in the fashion industry, horticulture, Education in high schools and Education Officer/Coordinator for The Western Australian Museum and Kings Park Education. Her ethnicity is Italian Australian with ancestry in southern Italy, Ireland, Scotland, and England and at times is a theme of her poetry. It was also the theme of a collaboration with Lucy Dougan, All about my father, poetry conversation and reading at Story Lounge, Centre for Stories (2022) where both poets explored their Italian ancestry experienced at a distance. She is a survivor of adolescent trauma, which is at the heart of her debut manuscript, How to Order Eggs Sunny Side Up and is explored as a dread of home and escape. She has been published in Westerly, Cordite, Rabbit, and Australian Poetry Anthology and more. She was a recipient of the Inspire writer-in-residence (2021) program for The National Trust of W.A., where she researched the Woodbridge archives and its time as an aged care facility for women and the Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety to write poetry that gives agency to female elders and disrupts the stereotypes that abound in literature and in society. She was the invited writer-in-residence with Katharine Susannah Prichard Writers’ Centre (2022) where she wrote poems that drew on her career as a horticulturist and explored native flora juxtaposed with women’s bodies to represent how bodies like flowers, entice and deflect. She has conducted numerous writing workshops with The National Trust of W.A., OOTA Writer’s Group, The Wetland’s Centre, Katharine Susannah Prichard Writers’ Centre, and was a micro-resident for the Perth Poetry Festival, (2022). As a micro-resident, she explored the shopping precinct in relation to women’s issues, including a place of empowerment and an asylum for women fleeing domestic abuse based on the book and documentary, See What You Made Me Do by Jess Hill. She was a participant in the Westerly Writer’s Development program (2021) and is a current Four Centres’ Emerging Writer with W.A. Poets (2022-23), being a mentee of Lucy Dougan both times. She was short listed for The Dorothy Hewett Award (2022) for her unpublished manuscript, How to Order Eggs Sunny Side Up. She is currently working on her second manuscript, The Real Revolution is Terylene, with a spotlight on working class women’s labour and female competition. Her debut collection, How to Order Eggs Sunny Side Up will be published with Life Before Man, poetry imprint of Gazebo Books in 2023.
Local Guest Poet Caitlin Maling
Caitlin Maling is a Western Australian poet who grew up in and around Fremantle. Since then she has lived around Australia, the US and the UK. Her work has been published in Australian Poetry, Best Australian Poetry, Westerly, Island, Meanjin, Threepenny Review, Green Mountains Review, Australian Book Review, Prairie Schooner and The Australian among others. A previous recipient of the John Marsden Poetry Prize, in 2014 she was shortlisted for the Judith Wright Poetry Prize and won the Harri Jones Memorial Prize of the Newcastle Poetry Prize. Her first collection Conversation’s I’ve Never Had was developed through residencies at The Varuna Centre, Yaddo, VCCA and Santa Fe Art Institute and was published by Fremantle Press in early 2015. It was shortlisted for the Dame Mary Gilmore Award and in the WA Premier’s Book Awards. A follow up collection ‘Border Crossing’ was released in 2017. Poems from this collection were commended in the Newcastle Poetry Prize and won the Val Vallis Award. Her third collection Fish Song was released in 2019 thanks to funding from the Department of Culture and the Arts (WA) and the Dorothy Hewett Flagship Fellowship. A fourth collection, Fish Work, was released in 2021 after being highly commended in the 2020 Dorothy Hewett Awards with UWA Press, it was shortlisted for the 2022 Prime Minister’s Literary Awards in poetry. Her fifth collection, released this year with Fremantle Press is “Spore or Seed”. Caitlin is a previous holder of the Marten Bequest in Poetry and a Teaching Fellowship at the University of Sydney, and currently teaches creative writing at Curtin University.
Local Guest Poet Talya Ruben
Talya Rubin is a writer and performance maker originally from Montreal, Canada, now based in Boorloo/Perth. Her poetry won the national Canadian Bronwen Wallace Award for the most promising poet under the age of 35 and has been long listed for the Montreal International Poetry Prize and the CBC Poetry Award. Her work has been shortlisted for the Winston Collins Descant Prize for best Canadian poem, and the Melbourne Poets Union International Poetry Competition. Her prose poetry won second place in the short Grain contest and her short fiction received an honourable mention in Matrix magazine’s New Voices in Quebec Competition and was a finalist in the Postcard Story Competition for the Writers Union of Canada. Her work has been published in ascent, Matrix, Hazlitt, Macleans Online, Arts Hub and Grain magazines. Talya won a poetry slam at Melbourne Poetry Festival and the “Battle of the Bards” at Harbourfront, Toronto and was invited to read at IFOA (International Festival of Authors) in Toronto. Her first book of poetry, Leaving the Island, was published by Véhicule Press, Signal Editions, Montreal in 2015, and her second collection, Iceland is Melting and So Are You was published by Book*hug Press, Toronto in 2021.
Talya also runs an interdisciplinary performance company, Too Close to the Sun, with her partner, Nick James. As a performer and creator of interdisciplinary solo theatre work she has toured to: Arts House (Melbourne), Performance Space (Sydney), Brisbane Powerhouse, Brisbane Festival, Metro Arts and Vitalstatistix (Adelaide). And she has been invited to develop work through curated residency programs including, Bundanon, the Banff Centre, Arts House CultureLAB, Adhocracy at Vitalstatistix, Fremantle Arts Centre, Spare Parts and KISSClub through PICA and pvi collective. Her new performance work, At the End of the Land, is premiering at PICA in November 2023.
Talya has been invited to sat on jury committees for the CBC Poetry Prize and the Montreal International Poetry Prize. She has read her poetry across Canada and Australia, including: Harbourfront, IFOA (International Festival of Authors), Brisbane Poetry Festival, Blue Met International Literary Festival, Atwater Poetry Project, Pivot, Flywheel, Tree Reading Series, Katherine Susannah Prichard Writers’ Centre, Melbourne Poetry Festival, and La Mama Poetica Melbourne. She holds a BA in Creative Writing and Literature from Bard College, New York, and an MFA from the University of British Columbia, Canada.
Local Guest Poet Luoyang Chen
Photo Credit: Sophie Minissale
Luoyang Chen was born and raised in a small coastal town in Fujian, China. He is grateful to be residing on Wongatha Country as well as the Lands where he lived before— Wurundjeri Land and Whadjuk Noongar Land.
Luoyang graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in Philosophy and Creative Writing from the University of Melbourne and a Master’s degree in Social Work from the University of Western Australia. Although his poetry is no longer limited to the analysis and expression of political and social criticism, these two aspects were the first motives that mediate his poetic interest and practice. Luoyang has since been interested in writing about language, migration, power, the lyric “I”, 自然, and love and death. With a nod to two phenomenal theatre practitioners Joe Lui and Merlynn Tong, his interest in poetry has recently taken another direction towards the transformation of cultural shame and the embodiment of cultural empowerment. He has secretly decided (though now it’s public) that he no longer wishes to write about “Australia”.
Luoyang’s poetic practice has been hugely influenced/touched by the words of Bhanu Kapil, Nhã Thuyên, Wei Ying-wu, Felicity Plunkett, Bella Li, Norman Erikson Pasaribu, Yan Jun, Nadia Rhook, Lucy Van, Sappho, Anne Carson, Sylvia Plath, and many others. The words and presence of WA-based poets, such as Nadia Rhook, Andrew Sutherland, Emily Sun, Scott-Patrick Mitchell, Charmaine Papertalk Green, Lakshmi Kanchi, Bron Bateman, Baran Rostamian, Vuma Phiri, Lisa Collyer and Alan Fyfe, offered him company and comfort. He is forever grateful for the English Literature subject “Poetry, Love, and Death” coordinated and lectured by Lucy Van in 2019 as well as the Creative Writing subject “Poetry and Poetics” coordinated and taught by A. Frances Johnson in 2020.
This year, Luoyang published his debut full-length poetry collection titled Flow with Red River Press in New Delhi in collaboration with Centre for Stories in Boorloo. To loosely define it, Flow is a collection of poems that speaks to power; it uses “deceptively simple lyrics that often test the page as field, exploiting bold enjambments and lineation,” according to A Frances Johnson. Felicity Plunkett describes Flow as a collection that “moves from currents of dark history, crossing and translating places and generations, holding a light to the violence of racism and exclusion, choosing instead radical openness and connection”. Luoyang’s poems have been published in many literary journals and anthologies, including Australian Poetry Anthology, Voice & Verse Poetry Magazine, Resilience (Mascara Literary Review), Cordite Poetry Review, Under the Paving Stones, the Beach (Centre for Stories), Be:longing Magazine, Portside Review, Foam:e, Rabbit: a journal for nonfiction poetry, Pulch Magazine, The Suburban Review, Rough Diamond Journal, and Baby Teeth Journal. This year, he has been practising self-publishing as well as trying to penetrate non-dominant spaces in the form and voice of poetry.
The 2023 Perth Poetry Festival receives funds from Creative Partnerships Australia through the Australia Cultural Fund and is supported by;