World Poetry Day

Resources for World Poetry Day click here

A series of events and seminars focused on showcasing and sharing poetry to help celebrate World Poetry Day (21st March). The observance of World Poetry Day is also meant to encourage a return to the oral tradition of poetry recitals, to promote the teaching of poetry, to restore a dialogue between poetry and the community so that the art of poetry will no longer be considered an outdated form of art, but one which enables society as a whole to regain and assert its identity.

Poetry reaffirms our common humanity by revealing to us that individuals, everywhere in the world, share the same questions and feelings. Poetry is the mainstay of oral tradition and, over centuries, can communicate the innermost values of diverse cultures.

In celebrating World Poetry Day, March 21, UNESCO recognizes the unique ability of poetry to capture the creative spirit of the human mind.

A decision to proclaim 21 March as World Poetry Day was adopted during UNESCO’s 30th session held in Paris in 1999.

One of the main objectives of the Day is to support linguistic diversity through poetic expression and to offer endangered languages the opportunity to be heard within their communities.

The observance of World Poetry Day is also meant to encourage a dialogue between poetry and the other arts such as theatre, dance, music and painting, and to support small publishers and create an attractive image of poetry in the media, so that the art of poetry will seen as an integral partner in creating community and celebrating inclusiveness and diversity.

To book tickets, please click on the following link :
To attend events via Zoom ($10) click on the link under the relevant event.

Limited door sales. Wine and beer available for purchase.

Saturday 20th March 2021

Main Venue:  Queens Building Hall, Level 1, 97 William St. Note; this venue is accessible to people who use wheelchairs.

2.00–4.00 pm Perth Poetry Club. Moon Cafe (cnr William & Newcastle Sts). Perth

Join the regular Perth Poetry Club crowd for 2 hours of poetry featuring WA poets. Open mic available. Entry by donation. More details at:

4.30–6pm   Towards a Tradition of West Australian Poetry     Queens Building  $10/$15 Entry
To attend this event via Zoom ($10) click here. The link will be on your ticket.

Given that our State now occupies a highly significant place of independent and economic vitality in so many fields, it is timely  to examine the thousands of years of Dreamtime songlines and performed poetry alongside two hundred years of written text generated by colonial settlers and multicultural migrants as well as the solid emergence of vital indigenous writing.

In the digital deluge that has beset WA POETRY it has been easy to forget our poetic forebears that have laboured over the years to bring about our wonderful poetry season and this festival.This session, generated by five elders living most of their lives in local poetry and a noted anthologist aims to highlight six poets who might form a convenient basis of a tradition of WA POETRY that celebrates our history and craft.

Peter Bibby leads with the poetry of RANDOLPH STOW who, as a prodigy novelist  had him ranked alongside Patrick White before he went into literary exile overseas. His early poetry was often ‘outsider’ themed, and later his embrace of Tao philosophy generated his tragic elegy on the Australian POWs who laboured on the Burma Railway.

FAY ZWICKY, much loved UWA mentor and nominated as one of WA’s ‘Living Treasures’ will have poems and comment by her anthologist and keynote lecturer Lucy Dougan.

Famed for his novels on Guildford Grammar and the Cowra Breakout and his highly sensuous poetry SEAFORTH MC KENZIE will be appraised by Glen Phillips who has studied him closely.

Andrew Burke will remember his friend the controversial DOROTHY HEWETT through her poems that rival the great range of plays, memoir and novels she wrote in her eventful life.

JACK DAVIS, who with his newsletter for the Aboriginal Advancement League and subsequently with AWOLDA done so much for the emergence of indigenous writing will be presented by Peter Jeffery as a poet of merit rather than his fame as a playwright and one of the keystones of Australian theatre.

Finally the remarkable DOROTHY MC GOWAN who was the winner four times in succession of the Tom Collins Poetry Prize and her final book that was so well received at its launch by several of us presenters as friends will have comments  and poems by Shane McCauley.

7–9pm        Experimental Poetry plus open mic/launch Ros Spencer Contest.       Queens Building $10/$15 Entry
To attend this event via Zoom ($10) click here. The link will be on your ticket.

Bam! Crash! Wow! We’re back again with our Experimental Poetry Showcase for another year with more weird and wonderful experimental performance poetry. This year, our three commissioned works will examine the intersection of inventive poetics and culture. Expect a layering of voices, a celebration of community and a touch of the new, the unfamiliar and the exploratory.

Featuring “Silent Cities” presented by Istenad Haddad and Vivienne Glance, “How to Make Sand” presented by Natalie D-Napoleon and Cathi Oliveri and “Primordial Gentrifications” presented by Jakob Boyd.

Not to be missed, this is an opportunity to witness how innovative and inspiring Perth poets can be. Limited open mic will be available.

Ros Spencer Poetry Contest. As part of this event, the Ros Spencer Poetry Contest will be officially launched. A special feature including readings of past prize winning poems will finish off the night.

Sunday 21st March 202

1–2pm   Lunch Poets Open Mic Northbridge Piazza (cnr James & Lake Sts)     Free

Come for a mega open mike. Register on the day for a 3-minute slot and read your poetry to an open crowd.

3-5pm    How to be Published—Submissions 101.  Queens Building  $25/$30 Entry

The process of publishing may be very daunting for aspiring and emerging poets. Don’t fear: Scott-Patrick Mitchell is here to help demystify the process of submitting your creative writing to literary publications and contests. 

This workshop will explore editing techniques, as well as the crafting of bios and cover letters to accompany your submissions. All of this will be complimented with insights into how to get noticed by literary editors. You will also explore skills to help you manage the impact that acceptance and rejection can have on your psyche and spirit. 

I recommend this workshop as both enjoyable, proficient and artistically validating – Christine

This workshop is recommended for beginners BUT also has value as a refresher for intermediate poets and writers.

6–8pm   Under a WA Sky—Eco Poetry. Queens Building    $10/$15 Entry
To attend this event via Zoom ($10) click here. The link will be on your ticket.

In the era of climate change our relationship with nature is continually being re-written, re-examined and re-visioned. Poetry has the power to express our views on the climate crisis as well as our love for and relationship with the environment.

On this evening we will feature West Australian poets Allan Boyd, Liana Joy Christensen, Josephine Clarke, Jennifer Kornberger and SoulReserve who each examine ecopoetry and the topics of climate and environmental change from unique viewpoints. The event will include readings from feature poets and an open mic, so bring along your best work which explores your personal and our collective relationship to the environment, and your views on the future direction of humanity’s relationship with the earth which sustains us.

This evening will be hosted by Natalie D-Napoleon, an award-winning WA poet who examines the legacy of farming upon the environment, West Australian flora, and the relationship of women’s bodies with the land.

Limited open mic on theme appropriate poetry, register at the door.

WA Poets Inc would like to thank TWO ROCKS CELLARBRATIONS for their support


Peter Bibby is a tireless worker for poetry in WA.  There must be something in the name.  Whether as poet, singer, songster, playwright, critic, Peter is a rock upon which many others have benefited.  Peter was born in the U.K., arrived in Australia at age of nine.  He has been editor at Magabala Books, and is the recipient of numerous awards for poetry and short stories. In addition to these literary forms, he also writes radio and movie scripts, and plays.

Allan Boyd (the antipoet) has been delivering performance poetry and organising dynamic poetry arts and music events since 1995. He has performed his “difficult and acerbic words“ as featured guest of the Queensland Poetry Festival; Melbourne Overload Poetry Festival; Newcastle This Is Not Art; Electrofringe and National Young Writers Festivals; the WA Poetry Festival; Artrage; Perth International Arts Festival; Adelaide Fringe, WA Fringe, Big Day Out, Southbound and others. Allan taught Creative Writing at Curtin University from 2005-2011, has been a facilitator of writing workshops and is a volunteer at RTRFM.

Jakob Boyd AKA Laundry Man is a spoken word artist, community organiser and zine maker from Boorloo / Perth. Director of the music and poetry platform Dirtymouth, co-runner of Hectic Measures Press and co-host of Perth Slam and the WA Heats of the Australian Poetry Slam, Boyd has run a wide variety of events, showcases, zines and other platforms in Perth’s DIY art scenes and performed in events, festivals and theatre around Australia. Boyd has work in Solid Air, Cordite, Mulla Mulla Press and the debut collection City Without Stories released through Indifference Publications in 2018.

Andrew Burke was born in Victoria in 1944, then moved to WA as a toddler.  He was educated there, then hitchhiked (in the ‘60s) to further his education at factories, etc, in Melbourne and Sydney. After work at radio stations in Perth, he went on to be a Creative Director in advertising agencies, all the time writing stories, plays and poems. In middle-age he went into academia, studying and lecturing in writing and literature.  

Andrew has published thirteen poetry collections, one novel and a smattering of short stories, book reviews and literary criticism. After five years living in the Riverina area of New South Wales, he returned to Perth in 2017.

Liana Joy Christensen was born and still lives in a harbour town on the edge of the Swan coastal plain. She was for five years editor of the wildlife and natural resources magazine Landscope and has worked extensively with the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO), earning from them a citation for excellence in science journalism. Her nature essays have regularly appeared in anthologies and magazines such as Australasian GEO, and been excerpted in translation for both German and Korean GEOs. Her work is published in literary and scientific journals around the world, including Tawain, North America, the Netherlands and India.

One of the major passions of her life is writing about human connections and disconnections with plants, animals, places and other peoples both within Australia and beyond. 

Josephine Clarke grew up in the South West of Western Australia, the daughter of Italian migrants. After gaining an Arts Degree and a Dip. Ed. at the University of Western Australia, she taught English at high school before travelling to other states and countries with her family. Josephine has had short stories and poetry published in CorditeWesterlyindigoEureka Street, and the Review of Australian Fiction. She now lives in Fremantle and is a member of a collective that organises monthly poetry readings for Fremantle Voicebox, and has been actively involved with Out of the Asylum Writers’ Group, based at the Fremantle Arts Centre.

Natalie D-Napoleon is an Australian writer and singer-songwriter who was raised by her Croatian-immigrant parents on a farm near Fremantle. She is currently a PhD candidate in Creative Writing and was previously the coordinator of a college Writing Centre in the United States. She is the winner of the Bruce Dawe National Poetry Prize (2018) and the Katharine Susannah Prichard Poetry Prize (2019). Ginninderra Press released her debut poetry collection First Blood in 2019. Her work explores both conventional and experimental poetic forms.

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).

Vivienne Glance is a writer and playwright living in Perth Australia. Her writing for theatre has been performed in Australia, Europe, the United States and the United Kingdom. She has a PhD in Creative Writing from the University of Western Australia, where she is currently an Honorary Research Fellow. In 2011 received the Matilda Award for Cultural Excellence from UWA Convocation. In May 2015 she was invited to California, USA, as part of the Djerassi Resident Artists Program.

As a professional actor, Vivienne has appeared in classical and contemporary plays on stage, and has performed in television, film, voiceover and radio productions in UK Europe, USA and Australia. She has directed both short and full length plays and enjoys the challenge of honouring and realizing the words and intentions of playwrights.

Her poetry and short stories have appeared in print and online publications and she’s won prizes and commendations in competitions, and she has published two collections of poetry

Istenad Haddad is a director and writer, having worked in the diverse field of theater, cinema, television and ballet. He has written poetry and visual criticism, worked in the television industry and as a member of the Arab press in Iraq, Jordan, The United Arab Emirates, Tunisia and Saudi Arabia. He has diplomas in arts and film direction. He has read poetry at Perth Poetry Club. He migrated to Australia in August 2005 and has since studied film and TV production in Perth, while completing short film projects. He wrote ‘Glass Eyes, a short drama film script funded by ScreenWest in 2018.

Istenad is a member of the WA Poets Inc, Writing WA, Community TV/ C TV,West TV Perth, Perth Film Network, and Wings organisation for Cross-cultural development. In 2020 he worked as a freelance filmmaker for ALTERNATIVE PICTURES. He is currently a judge for MFF Muslim international film festival in Perth September 2020.

Peter Jeffery OAM is heavily involved in the arts, be it Multicultural Art, Radio and Community Television, WA Poetry Inc.; to name a few. Peter is a previous winner of The Tom Collins Prize and the Randolph Stow Prize. He has been published in magazines such as The BulletinWesterly, and Overland, and in several anthologies of WA Literature. His previous poetry books are Scapes (1970) and True to Poetry in my Fashion (2015). He has edited many poetry publications including God in the AfternoonCautious BirdsCreatrix Online, and Regime. His recent chapbook is a cycle of poems, Ostia Antica.

He is described in various on-line biographies as a retired university lecturer, but retired he certainly is not. Peter has been and continues to be tireless in supporting the poetry, writing and art of many Australian writers and artists.

Jennifer Kornberger is a writer, artist and poet based in Fremantle, Western Australia. Her practice spans publication, performance and installation works, film poetry and collaborations with artists in public art work. Her longer cycles of poetry have been shortlisted in the prestigious Newcastle Poetry Prize on three occasions, with a commendation in 2014. Jennifer won the 2016 Tom Collins Poetry Prize and was guest poet at the 2016 Perth Poetry Festival. Jennifer involves groups of poets in spoken word installations designed as therapy for civilisation. The installation Forest of Poets featured in the 2016 Perth Poetry Festival, and Oraculum was conceived as a poetic ritual to renew time. She is currently co-director of The Writing Connection  working internationally with emerging writers. on themes of imagination and the new myth.

Shane McCauley, born in England, has lived most of his life in Western Australia. He has been writing poetry for 46 years and has had eight collections of poetry published, most recently The Drunken Elk (Sunline Press, 2010) and Trickster (Walleah Press, 2015). He has edited and co-edited many other volumes, and has had over 1,300 poems published in national and overseas journals. Now retired from teaching at TAFE and University, he enjoys conducting poetry workshops for the OOTA writers’ group at the Fremantle Arts Centre.

Scott-Patrick Mitchell’s work appears in Contemporary Australian PoetryThe Fremantle Press Anthology of Western Australian PoetrySolid AirStories of Perth and Going Postal. In 2019, SPM won Coal Creek’s Literary Award for Poetry, The Creative Connections Poetry Prize, Melbourne Poets Union’s Martin Downey Urban Realist Poetry Award and The Wollongong Short Story Prize. Most recently, in 2020, SPM was shortlisted for The International Googie Goer Prize for Speculative Prose, The 2020 Red Room Poetry Fellowship, The Martha Richardson Poetry Award and KSP’s Short Story Prize.  They also came second in both the 2020 Alice Sinclair Memorial Writing Competition and The Poetica Christi Prize.

Cathi Oliveri started learning violin at the age of four and swapped to the viola as a teenager. From the early 90s she has played and recorded with a plethora of Fremantle bands and has contributed viola and violin lines to Natalie D-Napoleon’s recordings and live performances. Oliveri is a WAAPA graduate and has also completed a Bachelor of Arts majoring in English Literature at UWA. Currently she works teaching viola and violin in schools and as a freelance violist. Her recent collaboration with local arts collective Genrefonix has seen her composing a score for a short film from 1956, accompanying a play about Moondyne Joe by Fremantle playwright Mike Lefroy, writing solo viola works themed around Fremantle history and improvising on her viola within fog.

Glen Phillips is a West Australian writer and is an Honorary Professor of English at Edith Cowan University, Perth and Director of the University’s International Centre for Landscape and Language. Glen has a total of 8 co-edited poetry and essay collections and student text books. His poetry has won prizes and appeared in more than 50 American, British, Italian, Thai, Singaporean, Chinese, Korean, Indian and Australian journals and/or anthologies. Over the years Glen Phillips has completed a number of joint projects with writers, composers, choreographers and painters and has received awards and commissions for his work. 

SoulReserve is an ardent writer and a wistful poet. She has written over 1000 pieces of contemporary poetry and enjoys a great readership on her blog – Her poetry explores love and its tumultuousness, the fantasy and zest in nature, and allegories that provoke thought and evoke tender feelings. Her poems about the environment delve into the inherently complicated, perpetually juxtaposed and staggeringly disjointed relationships between nature, history, language, culture and perception.

Her works appear in the anthologies: “Letters To Our Home”, “Across Vast Horizons”, “2019 Poetry d’Amour”, and “2020 Poetry d’Amour”. And, WAPI’s online magazine “Creatrix.” She works as a writer for a number of organisations around Perth and beyond, including The Wetlands Centre Cockburn – a community-based organisation about nature conservation, and Creative Native – an indigenous art gallery in the city.

She enjoys the perks of being a wallflower, but you can reach her at