2017 Program

A PDF of the program is available here.



Doors open 10:30AM. Sessions start 11AM and finish at 5PM.

Making Poems Making Poetics
Evelyn Araluen

11:00 – 11:45am, main stage

The Aboriginal voice is a central anxiety for institutions of Australian literature and poetics. Accepted narratives of the birth of Aboriginal literary history negotiate fixed points in the twentieth century, and recognise only narrow parameters of creative expression and practice. Today, this dynamic is rapidly shifting. In this lecture Evelyn Araluen challenges the origin story of a shared, national poetic and asks how Australian poetics today can and must benefit from the philosophies, perspectives, and provocations of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander voices.

Let's Get LoudLet’s Get Loud

Subbed In

12:00 – 12:45pm, main stage

This session aims to give emerging writers a safe space to learn, discuss and practice the art of reading/performing their work in public. Dan Hogan and Stacey Teague will show participants a range of oral modes recorded from their literary reading series Subbed In and encourage writers to give voice to their work on the page. Dan and Stacey will provide coaching (how to effectively use a microphone, voice, body language, etc.). The workshop will include an opportunity for writers to read/perform their work (if they feel up to it – it is a safe/supportive safe), as well as a guided informal discussion around ‘reading anxiety’, questions regarding Doing A Reading, and viewing of associated videos of live performances.

Visual NavigationVisual Navigation

Emily Crocker, Holly Friedlander Liddicoat, Effy Marie Smith

12:00 – 12:45pm, backstage / outside if weather permitting

Visual Navigation will examine the word as image, and the image as word—equipping participants with new ways to think about each of these in their own practice. We’ll interchange visual metaphors and word imagery, considering what is absent and what gained in each rephrasing. We’ll then move to re-purposing established forms for a different medium (e.g. by creating shape-haikus and portrait-poems).

PoesifikaPoesifika: Land and Language of the South Pacific Oceanic States

Sea, Stelly Gappasauress, MC Trey, Joseph Zane.

1:00 – 1:45pm, main stage

The Oceanic States of the South Pacific region have a rich history of cultural expression and creative practices. Sea and Joseph invite you to experience their folklore traditions served on a poetic landscape through a power pact talanoa session comprising of short films and poetry performances, focusing on pacific tongues and climate change. Sea will be joined by special guests Stelly Gappasauress (showing her work ‘SA YADRA MAI NA MARAMA LAILAI’), MC Trey (performing her new track, ‘Daily’), and Joseph Zane (from 350 Pacific & 350.org, speaking on frontline climate change action in the Pacific).

Haiku Drop-in Paper AlchemyHaiku Drop-in Paper Alchemy

Fayroze Lutta

2:00 – 2:45pm, backstage

Group or individual drop-in haiku poetry writing experience for all levels, all ages. Join in the haiku poem creating experience or create your own. Learn how to use a typewriter to create your own personalised postcard on limited-edition and individualised gold stamped postcards made by Sydney’s own gold paper alchemist and bling stationaire, Fayroze.

Looping and Vocal EffectsLooping and Vocal Effects

Paige Phillips, Bron Watkins

2:30 – 3:15pm, main stage

We invite you to explore new vocal textures and create sonic landscapes using your words. No experience with other musical instruments is necessary! You will have the opportunity to learn and practice a variety of looping techniques, and are encouraged to experiment with brought poems in order to discover new possibilities for your words. Looping can be used to create amazing dynamics for performance, and can also be used as a tool for writing and rehearsal. After your looping practise, you are welcome to play in our pedal wonderland, where together we will explore the unlimited possibilities of vocal effects including distortion, reverb, tremolo, chorus, delays, octavers, phasers, flangers and more. This is a space where possibility, chance, and curiosity reign. There are no wrong sounds here, only sounds.

DevicesDevices: A workshop on disagreement and change

Emily Crocker

2:45 – 3:30pm, backstage / outside if weather permitting

Devices will explore poetry as a form of dissent. The workshop will give participants strategies to express disagreement and dispute ideas in their own writing, as well as present poetry as a tool to exhibit, and thereby advocate for, alternatives and change. Created for high-school-aged poets, welcoming to all ages.

The Afternoon Shift 1The Afternoon Shift

Evelyn Araluen, Emily Crocker, Holly Friedlander Liddicoat, Sea

3:30 – 5:00pm, Gasoline Pony (115 Marrickville rd, 5 minutes walk from the Red Rattler). Facebook event.

After a full day of workshops, lectures and panels, come around the corner to the Gasoline Pony for The Afternoon Shift. There will be live readings / performances from Evelyn Araluen, Emily Crocker, Holly Friedlander Liddicoat and Sea, as well as open mic (ten slots of three minutes each: sign up on the day).

This session will be in the back courtyard of the Gasoline Pony. It’s licenced, but minors are welcome. Entrance is free and open to the public, not just festival ticket-holders, so bring your mates!


Doors open 10:00AM. Sessions start 10:30AM and finish at 8:45PM.

Questions of CultureQuestions of Culture: How accepting and safe are our poetry communities?

Gabrielle Journey Jones

10:30 – 11:15am, backstage

A discussion workshop with Gabrielle Journey Jones (Creative Womyn Down Under). How much do we censor our performance poetry either in slams, open mics or paid gigs because of perceived and learned boundaries around feeling safe?  What do we choose to leave unspoken within one of the most open and vulnerable of all performing arts?

How much of ourselves do we feel safe to share within our poetry community? And how, in turn, do the minority communities that we identify with influence the culture of our mainstream poetry community? How do we contribute to building performance poetry communities in which we all feel safe to leave nothing unspoken?

Defining Ourselves for OurselvesDefining Ourselves for Ourselves

Maryam Azam, Winnie Dunn, Robin M. Eames

11:15am – 12:15pm, main stage

Can we define ourselves by writing ourselves? We write ourselves, in whatever way possible for our individual needs, so as to create alternatives to single narratives. We need to see ourselves represented by people like us. Too many stories filter the whole world of experience through the gaze of those holding structural power. This panel discusses the resistant power of telling our own stories, through the symbolic dialogue between living, visibility and text. We ask if and how we can write despite and beyond the dominating gaze of dual invisibility / hypervisibility that often occurs around politicised bodies.

Genre PoetryGenre Poetry

Margarita Tenser

12:15 – 1:00pm, backstage

Learn and discuss how to make use of the shared dialect of fiction genres in the medium of poetry. How do genres like sci-fi, fantasy, noir, etc. apply to poetry? If you write poetry that uses (or subverts) genre tropes, bring it along.


00910 Years of the Intervention and Current Atrocities

Elizabeth Jarrett

1:00 – 1:45pm, main stage

Details TBA.



It's 2017 Aren't I Still a WomanIt’s 2017, Aren’t I Still a Woman?

Stephany Basia

1:45 – 2:15pm, main stage

A lecture about the invisibilities of black women in mainstream representation. False ideas on a ‘post-racism’ society present diverse friendship groups of women to suggest all women are now equal in Australia. Stephany Basia will discuss how this preserves the invisibility of black women and their needs in the social performance of gender identity. The limitations of professional identity deem non-white images (such as Afro hair) as inappropriate and unprofessional. This lecture will dismantle the concept of one ‘acceptable’ image.

Cripping the Literary: Finding Crip Culture, Learning Crip Language
Robin M. Eames

2:30 – 3:00pm, main stage

A fifth of Australians are disabled. So where the fuck are they? Are they at your poetry events? Are you reading their work? Are you listening to their communities? Are you fighting alongside them for their civil rights? If not, why? How do we change that? How can a gig, or space, or culture, be accessible (or not)? What are we overlooking? Why aren’t wheelchair users coming to our non-wheelchair-accessible events? How does disabled culture & community even manifest itself? For few answers & more questions, come to this lecture by Robin M. Eames, a disabled queertrans warrior poet who is only mostly dead.

The Creative Mind and Chronic PainThe Creative Mind and Chronic Pain: Can we create in an altered state?

Candy Royalle

3:00 – 3:45pm, main stage

This intimate discussion and reading by Candy Royalle will explore the challenges artists face when physical or mental health reduces our capacity to create. Candy will talk about how living with a health condition can influence the ways in which we create. How is communication shaped by bodies and minds? What happens when the stories dry up? What does health have to do with creativity?

The Art of InclusionThe Art of Inclusion – Survival Stories and Strategies

Maryam Azam, Stephany Basia, Gabrielle Journey Jones, Candy Royalle

4:00 – 5:00pm, main stage

This panel is about combatting conscious and unconscious barriers to participation in storytelling communities. Poetry is sometimes called a ‘democratic’ art form: in part because it costs little to make, it doesn’t depend on communities being physically gathered together, and it can tell stories in a personal and direct way. But that doesn’t mean poetry communities are welcoming to all people. It also doesn’t mean that everyone’s story is told, or that the barriers to participation have been removed. Panellists talk about acceptance, inclusion and compromise in poetry circles and the role of storytelling in community.

Queering PoetryQueering Poetry: Writing Ourselves Into Existence

Margarita Tenser, Isaac Green, Robin M. Eames

5:00 – 5:45pm, main stage

Three trans, queer, & disabled panellists speak about queering poetry, trans retrohistories, art & intersectional identity, living in ill-fitting worlds & bodies, finding ourselves in stories not made with us in mind, and writing ourselves back into the narratives.


026The Black and Deadly Women’s Poets

Vanessa Lee, Michelle O’Hara, Elizabeth Wymarra

5.45 – 6:15pm, main stage.

The Black and Deadly Women’s Poetry group take to the stage to present their writing. This group of Aboriginal women poets meet regularly to share and workshop their poetry, and have been given mentorship by some of today’s leading Indigenous writers.



Unfinished Business 1UNFINISHED BUSINESS

Doors open (and dinner served) from 6:30, performances start 6:45. Main stage. Facebook event.

Hani Abdile, Winnie Dunn, Isaac Green, Robin M. Eames, Lorin Elizabeth, Dan Hogan, Elizabeth Jarrett, Gabrielle Journey Jones, Ella Skilbeck-Porter, Margarita Tenser, Auslan Stage Left

Come one and all to the biggest session of Unspoken Words! Hosted by the wonderful Lorin Elizabeth, this night will feature poetry readings by Winnie Dunn, Isaac Green, Robin M. Eames, Dan Hogan, Elizabeth Jarrett, Gabrielle Journey Jones, Ella Skilbeck-Porter and Margarita Tenser.

Hani Abdile will then present Absent Souls: A conversation with imprisoned souls. This new performance will be accompanied by a Q&A session and Hani’s performance of her own poetry.

This session will feature live Auslan interpretation thanks to Auslan Stage Left! Get in touch for more information. Here’s our policy on accessibility.

Dinner will be available thanks to Parliament on King, the social enterprise caterer. Beautiful food made with love. Proceeds from the catering are reinvested into hospitality training programs for locals with asylum seeker / refugee backgrounds at the King St café.