2018 Perth Poetry Festival Guest Biographies

Patron – Terri-ann White

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Terri-ann White has been published since the late 1980s, has taught writing in the community and universities, and previously been an independent bookseller. Her books include a volume of short stories, a novel, and five anthologies. She has an abiding interest in the way that expression is made across different forms by thinkers and artists, particularly in dance and visual arts, and takes great pleasure in collaborative work. She is currently Director, UWA Publishing.

International Poet – Aaron Lee (Singapore)

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Aaron Lee is a pilgrim poet, community organizer, writing mentor and regulatory/ ethics lawyer based in Singapore. He is acknowledged to have played a key part in the late 1990s renaissance of Singapore poetry. He has authored three critically-acclaimed books of poetry (including “Five Right Angles”, which was shortlisted for the Singapore Literature Prize). He is the co-editor of the best-selling anthologies “No Other City: the Ethos Anthology of Urban Poetry”, “Love Gathers All: The Singapore-Philippines Anthology of Love Poetry” and most recently, an A-level poetry anthology titled “Lines Spark Code”. Lee’s poems are published in Singapore and in countries such as Australia, Germany and the US, and placed on the syllabus of schools and universities. He is regularly invited to read his work and speak at literary festivals and conferences all over the world. Lee is a seasoned public speaker on topics such as culture, technology, leadership, creativity, imagination and spirituality. In 2014, he and his wife the artist Namiko Chan Takahashi, co-founded the Laniakea Culture Collective to champion communitarian values through the arts.

International Poet – Nina Lewis (UK)

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Nina Lewis is a poet from Worcestershire, U.K. She returned to the world of poetry in 2013 after a 15 year break. She founded INKSPILL an annual online writing retreat with National and International Guests. Her poetry is published in a range of anthologies including Paper Swans Press, Fair Acre Press, Three Drops From a Cauldron, Paragram and Shabda Press in magazines including Abridged, Under the Radar and Here Comes Everyone and online.

Nina’s poems appeared on the Poetry Trail at Wenlock Poetry Festival and BIG Lit Festival and 21 Haiku were used in an Art Installation at the MAC. She is a Headline poet and in 2014 was commissioned to write and perform at Birmingham Literature Festival.

Since 2015, Nina has worked as a Lead Writer for Sparks Young Writers Group, for Writing West Midlands. Her début pamphlet Fragile Houses was published by V. Press in 2016. This year Nina was accepted onto the Room 204 Writer Development programme run by Writing West Midlands and was appointed Worcestershire Poet Laureate. Nina is also a Reader in Residence at Rugby Library for West Midlands Readers’ Network.

National Poet – Dave Drayton (NSW)

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Dave Drayton was an amateur banjo player, founding member of the Atterton Academy, Kanganoulipian, and the author of E, UIO, A: a feghoot (Container), P(oe)Ms (Rabbit), A Pet Per Ably-Faced Kid (Stale Objects dePress) and Haiturograms (Stale Objects dePress).

National Poet – Peach Klimkiewicz (SA)

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Born and bred in Adelaide, Peach seeks to be a poet of the human condition. Often combining focused observations about bare existence within the broader landscape of his backpacking adventures, Peach looks to integrate experience and make you smile over the touching sadness of life.

2017 saw Peach release his first book of poetry, When We Were Young (Eagle Press). It also saw him begin his career as warehouse poet, lining up as orator-in-residence at parties over Adelaide.  2018 has seen Peach feature in the Adelaide Fringe, paying literary and performative tribute to Walt Whitman in the Paroxym Press ‘Best Poets of all time’ series.

Local Poet – Lucy Dougan

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Lucy Dougan’s books include White Clay (Giramondo), Meanderthals (Web del Sol) and The Guardians (Giramondo),. Since the early 1990s she has been published in a range of journals both here and overseas, and has had work represented in many anthologies.  She has worked in arts administration, as a tertiary teacher of creative writing, literature and film. A past poetry editor of HEAT magazine and the current one for Axon: Creative Explorations, she now works for the China-Australia Writing Centre at Curtin. Her PhD, concerning representation of Naples, was awarded in 2010. Her latest book, The Guardians, won the WA Premier’s Book Award for 2015/2016. With Tim Dolin, she is co-editor of The Collected Poems of Fay Zwicky (UWA Publishing).

Local Poet – Julie Watts

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Julie Watts is a Western Australian writer and Counsellor/Play Therapist and lives by the coast with her family. She has been published in various journals and anthologies including: Westerly, Cordite, Australian Poetry Anthology, Australian Love Poems 2013 and the Anthology of Contemporary Australian Feminist Poetry. She was shortlisted in the Newcastle Poetry Prize 2016, and won the 2016 Hunters Grieve Project. She was shortlisted for the Montreal International Poetry Prize 2017, won The Blake Poetry Prize 2017 and The Dorothy Hewett Award 2018. Her second poetry collection, Legacy, will be published in October, 2018 by UWWA Publishing.

Local Poet – Sanna Peden

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photo credit; Coral Carter

Sanna Peden is a performance poet and writer with an abiding interest in form, context and character. Her poetry has appeared in a number of journals and anthologies, and she is a regular reader at Perth’s spoken word events. Sanna has taught European cultural history as well as writing and public speaking skills for over ten years at the University of Western Australia, and she is currently working on a poetry collection for Mulla Mulla Press.

Local Poet – Maddie Godfrey

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Maddie Godfrey has been best described as “a poetry fireball”. Their writing aims to facilitate compassionate conversations about social issues.

At twenty-two they have performed at the Sydney Opera House, the Royal Albert Hall, TEDxWomen and Glastonbury Festival. In 2017 Maddie was a writer-in-residence at St Paul’s Cathedral in London.

Off stage, Maddie’s writing has been published in anthologies, magazines, literary journals, on posters, and by viral YouTube channels ‘Button Poetry’ and ‘Write About Now’. In 2016, Maddie’s poetry was used as a close reading text in the Western Australian curriculum’s English literature exam.

Maddie’s debut collection, titled “How To Be Held”, will be released by Burning Eye Books (UK) in late June 2018. Maddie is not a morning person.

Musician – Tashi Hall

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Tashi Hall is a singer/songwriter and multi-instrumentalist from Perth WA who is passionate about creating her own style of alternative/upbeat, funky pop/rock. Her music is the type that makes you want to get up and clean the house, with it’s “notoriously addictive hooks…strong folky vocals and reggae-ish offbeats”. She performs as a soloist, yet in recordings plays and layers guitar, drums, bass, keys/piano, violin, percussion and vocals to create the sound of a full band. Gripping the attention and interest of the audience with her unique voice and rhythmic guitar playing, Tashi’s live shows are soulful and alluring, singing with raw emotion often reminiscent of Florence Welch. Tashi’s debut 5 track EP Gratitude is out now and along with a four star review has been described as “a swirling shanty of wonder and surprise…Gratitude plays out with pop opera-esque vocal lines drawn over honest-to-god funk rhythms and an expansive range of instrumentation…solid and strong from start to finish.” (The Music Magazine). Written, produced, performed and recorded by Tashi, it showcases a fresh mix of funk, alt rock and indie pop, all woven together with a thread of infectious groove.

 The 2018 Perth Poetry Festival is supported by:

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