WA Poets Inc (WAPI) was established in 2006 as an incorporated, not-for-profit organisation managed and operated by volunteers.
WAPI is dedicated to the promotion, presentation and professional development of poets and poetry in Western Australia, and presenting Western Australian poetry to local, national and global audiences.
WAPI has a strong commitment to promote poetry in new and innovative ways, to increase poetry audiences and to raise public awareness of the contemporary relevance of poetry. WAPI aims to strengthen and build relationships between local, national and global arts communities.
WAPI exists to stimulate the vibrancy, diversity, and cohesiveness of the entire WA community through the support, development and promotion of poetry as an art form. WAPI will create opportunities for poets in WA to have their voice heard and continually aim to make these productions more visible to the wider community.
WAPI is acutely aware of poetry’s mainstream appeal and its interpersonal benefits. Our main goals focus on celebrating the diversity of community that poetry creates and recognising that everyone has the ability to write poetry. As such, WAPI aims to foster a diverse community where each member’s voice can be heard, celebrated and published if desired. WAPI’s broad appeal aims to foster a love of language in everyone, a love that is rooted in awe, inspiration and accessibility.
In the past twenty years, poetry has become more and more mainstream and widely accessible to the general public. It is no longer the laboured haunt of academics and intellectuals. Thanks to social media and electronic communication, poetry has created a cultural shift around itself. On Instagram alone, there are over 52.1M million posts about poetry. Poetry’s recent mainstream appeal is because it connects people: to themselves and each other. As a result, poetry creates community.
Poetry’s ability to connect has made it an invaluable tool in well-being and treatment settings. Since it enables people to speak through symbols, a poem is able to convey deep underlying conditions and trauma with low risk of re-exposing participants. This ability to write and release, via poetry, has seen it become a vital part of trauma counselling and drug rehabilitation. A recent study in the journal of Social Cognitive and Affective Neurosciencefound that poetry activates different parts of the brain to music and film. It also stimulates awe, wonder and curiosity. Participants reported that poetry’s unique use of language and symbol made them feel more aware of their connection to the world.
In addition, WAPI is continually working on consolidating and extending the representation of diverse and marginalised voices by providing platforms for those voices to be heard.
WAPI will create opportunities for poets in W.A. to have their voices noticed and make these productions more visible to the wider community. WAPI will:
- make poetry accessible and relevant within WA communities.
- reflect and amplify the diversity of W.A. poets, especially those that are marginalised.
- create opportunities for poets and poetry in W.A. to advance.
- present the annual Perth Poetry Festival featuring local, national and international poets.
- create events and projects that celebrate and reflect the unique ecology, history and cultural diversity of W.A.
- create and provide opportunities for people in and beyond literary communities to interact with poetry in meaningful ways.
- act as a bridge to collaborate with other art forms, writing and cultural organisations to create and deliver joint, high quality events and projects.
- highlight and provide many opportunities for the community to explore the role poetry can play in the support of mental health and wellbeing.
- provide workshops and mentor programs that benefit poets.
- through WA Poets Publishing, produce quality books and anthologies that feature W.A. poets.