2017 Festival Guest Poets and Musician Biographies

International Guests

Francia at Cafe by the Ruins.jpgWinner of the prestigious Palanca Poetry Prize, Luis H. Francia has had five poetry books published. The latest volume is Tattered Boat (2014). Previous collections include The Arctic Archipelago and Other Poems, Museum of Absences, and The Beauty of Ghosts—this last staged as a theater piece in 2008.

He has published two collections of essays, Memories of Overdevelopment (1998) and RE (2015), the latter awarded the Philippines 2016 National Book Award for Best Essays in English. In 2002, he won both New York’s PEN Open Book and the Asian American Writers literary awards for Eye of the Fish: A Personal Archipelago. He is in the Library of America’s Becoming Americans: Four Centuries of Immigrant Writing.

He has written plays, one of which, The Strange Case of Citizen de la Cruz, was given its world premiere by San Francisco’s Bindlestiff Theater in in 2012.

A member of the New York Writers Workshop, he has taught at the City University of Hong Kong, the St Marks Poetry Project, and the Iowa Writers Summer Workshop. He teaches at New York University and at Hunter College. This spring term, he was Visiting Professor of Creative Writing and Literature at Ateneo de Manila University.

Lydia L.jpg

Unfortunately, Lydia had to regrettably withdraw from the festival.

Comedienne with soul, freedom fighter with microphone, jazz poet Lydia Lockett presents original words and music, Jazz/R&B/Soul style. Lockett received awards in: Spoken Word, Comedy and Visual Arts. Lockett has been published in; Poets in the Griffintown Cultural Corridor and Twigs & Leaves; Vol. III & IV. Lydia’s book of selected poems, Soul Sugar was released in 2010. Lydia acts on stage, television and film. Lockett sang backup for IRON MAIDEN (concerts and MTV Video) and opened for Musiq Soulchild. Lockett has written and performed 7 one-woman shows with band, Lydia & the Easy Street and has performed her work as an international feature poet in Canada, the US, Denmark and Cuba.

National Poets


Susan Fealy is a Melbourne-based poet, reviewer, and clinical psychologist.  She began writing and publishing poetry in 2007 and worked as a managing co-editor at Five Islands Press (2009-2010).  Her poems have been published widely in Australian journals, newspapers and anthologies including Best Australian Poems 2009, 2010 and 2013. Others appear in the United States, India and Sweden.  Her work was selected for the May 2016 Australian Poets issue of Poetry (Chicago). Among awards for her poetry are the NSW Society of Women Writers National Poetry Prize and the Henry Kendall Poetry Award. Flute of Milk, her first collection, was published by the University of Western Australia Press in 2017.

Jackson 3450 2017.jpeg

Andy Jackson has featured at literary events and arts festivals in Australia, India, USA and Ireland. He was shortlisted for the NSW Premier’s Prize for Poetry, and Highly Commended in the Anne Elder Award for Among the regulars (Papertiger 2010), and won the 2013 Whitmore Press Manuscript Prize for The thin bridge.

Andy’s most recent collections are Immune Systems (Transit Lounge 2015), and That knocking (Little Windows 2016). Music our bodies can’t hold, forthcoming from Hunter Publishers, consists of portrait poems of other people with Marfan Syndrome.

Andy and Rachael Guy’s poetry-puppetry collaboration Ambiguous Mirrors won the City of Yarra Award for Most Innovative Work at the 2009 Overload Poetry Festival, and their new performance work Each Map of Scars will feature at the 2017 Castlemaine State Festival.

Local Poets


Dennis Haskell is the author of 8 collections of poetry, the most recent Ahead of Us (Fremantle Press, 2016) and What Are You Doing Here? (University of The Philippines Press, 2015) plus 14 volumes of literary scholarship and criticism. He is the recipient of the Western Australia Premier’s Prize for Poetry, the A A Phillips Prize for a distinguished contribution to Australian literature (from the Association for the Study of Australian Literature), and of an Honorary Doctorate of Letters from The University of Western Australia. In 2015 he was made a Member of the Order of Australia for “services to literature, particularly poetry, to education and to intercultural understanding”. He is currently Chair of the Board of writingWA. His website is dennishaskell.com.au


Originally from the UK, Mags Webster is currently living in Western Australia, and is a PhD candidate at Murdoch University. She holds an MFA in Creative Writing (poetry) from City University of Hong Kong, a BA with First Class Honours in English and Creative Writing from Murdoch University, and BA (Hons) in English and Drama from the University of Kent. Winner of the 2011 Anne Elder Award for The Weather of Tongues (Sunline Press) Mags’ work has appeared in various anthologies and journals in Australia, Asia and America, most recently in The Fremantle Press Anthology of Western Australian Poetry, The Golden Shovel Anthology (University of Arksansas Press), and Afterness: Literature from the New Transnational Asia (After-Party Press, Hong Kong). www.magswebster.com

Norman DSC03613.jpg

Matt Norman is a young poet, writer and educator. His work has appeared in Voiceworks and Overland magazines, and he has self-published two poetry chapbooks; Like a Wild Thing and Red Book. He has appeared as a feature poet at Perth Poetry Club and Spoken Word Perth, and as a state finalist in the Australian Poetry Slam. Matt is the founder and director of the non-profit Said Poets Society, who run performance poetry workshops with young people in Western Australia. Matt’s aim is to empower others wherever he can through the art of storytelling.

Buchanan 14054346_980069375445575_2997109615286650487_o.jpg

Luka Buchanan is a twenty-year-old Leederville poet. For Luka, poetry is a fistfight with god, and spoken word is the bag of peas held tenderly over a post-god fight black eye. Luka has been writing poetry for a couple of years, performing wherever possible, from backyards at four in the morning, to the Sydney Opera House.


Tim Gallagher 15094961_1848870115344673_5316944209282713923_n.jpg

Timothy Gallagher was born in Armadale, He has worked a large number of menial jobs from bricklaying to welding but has been happiest as a rose pruner. He looks up to fellows such as Bernard Mickey Wrangle, Dread Pirate Robert and Lux the poet. As the singer-songwriter for local band, Gasoline, his songs are primarily concerned with love, birds and flowers. He performs regularly at various spoken word events and pub gigs around Perth. He is in the process of recording an album and has a poetry chapbook titled The Wicker Ticker Epiphany.


The 2017 Perth Poetry Festival is part of the City of Perth Winter Arts Season and is supported by:


2017 Festival Block logos LS