March Pin-Up Poet Week #1- Introducing Vanessa Page

March is here and that means it’s time for a new Pin-Up Poet! So I thought I would take the opportunity to invite Vanessa Page, one of Brisbane’s exciting new voices to join us for the month to talk about her forthcoming release and some of her recent successes.


You have recently been successful in some high profile awards, most notably being short listed in the Arts QLD Thomas Shapcott Award for an unpublished manuscript and the PressPress Chapbook competition. What have these awards done for you as a poet?

For me, the most important aspect of being shortlisted for the Arts Queensland Thomas Shapcott Prize last year was the validation it represented for my work. Listening to the feedback from two of the judges – Felicity Plunkett and Justin Lowe at the Queensland Poetry Festival opening was very motivating, and being shortlisted in itself for such a prestigious award was fantastic. Results like this has really helped me to maintain my enthusiasm and desire to keep on working at my poetry in a disciplined way.

As an emerging poet, one of the best things I have been able to do for my development is to consistently prepare works for competitions and awards. Not only does it mean I’m working to ongoing deadlines and thus required to commit the time to refining my work but I am also exploring avenues for getting my work out there for others to read. As a working Mum, time is a precious commodity so ongoing feedback and encouragement through award results has helped me maintain focus and commit to dedicating my time to writing more often. I also like the idea of my work being viewed and critiqued anonymously, particularly as an emerging poet who has not had a great deal of my work published yet. Competitions offer this opportunity and have been a great platform for me to hone my craft and reach an audience. Now with some good competition results behind me, I hope my work will begin to find its way into more publications.

The PressPress Prize result in 2010 was extremely important for my development because it was the first manuscript I had put together and the first time I had submitted a manuscript anywhere. It helped in terms of letting me know I was on the right track and that my work had merit. Thankfully the Shapcott result verified that it wasn’t just beginner’s luck and it has been a great stepping stone for me with my first micro collection Feeding Paper Tigers being launched next month as part of Brisbane New Voices III.



The rain keeps coming.

Overnight, the broken
awning outside his bedroom
has become a form of water torture

drip, drip, drip, drip

This big old house
swells in downpour sheets

shadows in the crooks
of its knees and elbows
and spiders under its eyelids

he’s alone and silence
plays him like a music box

wounded thoughts
alate creatures blown from
a sepulchral mouth

The odd things she left behind
in this big old house
a cuckoo clock, potted rosemary
this emptiness

festive baubles
endemic beyond New Year

but he hasn’t the strength just yet

The rain keeps coming.

He rolls over, attempts
sleep on a misplaced ocean
back lit through venetian blind slits

drip, drip, drip, drip

That broken awning –
he might fix it tomorrow

if the rain stops coming.


Vanessa Page is a Rosewood based poet who hails from Toowoomba in Queensland. Her first full-length collection of poetry, Memory Bone, was shortlisted for the 2010 PressPress Prize and is due to be published in 2012.

In 2011 her manuscript The lost art of penning you a love note was shortlisted for the Arts Queensland Thomas Shapcott Prize for an unpublished manuscript.

Vanessa has performed her work at various events, feature readings and gigs around Brisbane and is a founding member of the Beeble Poets group in Ipswich .

Feeding Paper Tigers is her first micro-collection of poetry and will be launched in April as part of Brisbane New Voices III.


Filed under Pin Ups

3 responses to “March Pin-Up Poet Week #1- Introducing Vanessa Page

  1. Nice to meet you, Vanessa.
    Thanks for the introduction, Graham.

  2. vanessapage

    Thanks Mark, likewise!

  3. Congrats on the nomination, but I can honestly say I had nothing to do with it as I have never been a judge at the QLD Poetry Prize. Is there another Justin Lowe out there? Or has my somnambulism returned?

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