Tag Archives: Arts QLD Poet-in-Residence

Introducing 2012 Arts QLD Poet-in-Residence a.rawlings

The arrival of the Arts QLD Poet-in-Residence is always an exciting time, so it is with great pleasure that I welcome Canadian interdisciplinary artist a.rawlings to our shores for the next few months.

After chatting with her over lunch the other day, it looks like she has a full-on schedule that will see her traveling north to the tropics and west out to big sky country to harvest sounds and visuals for her legacy piece that will be launched as part of A Million Bright Things on Saturday August 25  at the QLD Poetry Festival (the full program is online here).

But before she heads off on her explorations, she is running the first of many workshops at QLD Writers Centre this coming Sunday, July 1. There is still room for anyone interested in enrolling in her Ecopoetics workshop where she promises new work will be devised through an exploration of contemporary poetic forms such as erasure and collaborative cut-up. The workshop is just $15 and runs from 6pm – 8pm. To book a spot email Talina McKenzie: qldpoetry@gmail.com

Here’s a.rawlings in full performance mode, collaborating with maja jantar from their Centre for Sleep and Dream Studies project:

Can’t wait to see her back on stage! To keep up with her residency, I recommend checking out her site: http://qldpir.tumblr.com/


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Reduce / Reuse / Recycle with a.rawlings

a.rawlings has been exploring the possibilities of sound and language for as long as she has been creating and from the month of June right through to early September, her exploration will take in the Australian sonic and ecological landscape, as she settles in to her role as the 2012 Arts QLD Poet-in-Residence.

As part of her residency, rawlings will run a series of workshops, all of which have strictly limited places, so if you want in, best get booking! Here are the details:


Join a.rawlings for ECOPOETICS, the first of two one-off workshops designed for poets of all levels.

“The owls are not what they seem.” — Twin Peaks

In this workshop, participants will apply the three rules of the environment (reduce, reuse, recycle) in ecopoetic exercises that experiment with structural approaches to poetry. New poetic work will be devised through an exploration of contemporary poetic forms such as erasure and collaborative cut-up. This workshop will provide you with an opportunity to generate new text in joyous company. Welcome to anyone who is curious about language!

Time: 6pm – 8pm
When: Sunday July 1, 2012
Where: Queensland Writers Centre, Level 2, State Library of Queensland, South Brisbane
Cost: $15


Join a.rawlings for the second of two one-off workshops designed for poets of all levels.

“Is it not first through the voice that one becomes animal?” — Deleuze & Guattari, A Thousand Plateaux

Participants are invited to experiment with sound, collaboration, and improvisation. EAR KNOWS THROAT will be comprised of exercises focusing on acoustic ecology, sound poetry, and polyvocal performance. Participants are encouraged to wear comfortable clothing as you will spend time moving. This workshop gives you a chance to listen and raise your voice. Open to all resonant bodies!

Time: 6pm – 8pm
When: Thursday August 30, 2012
Where: Queensland Writers Centre, Level 2, State Library of Queensland, South Brisbane
Cost: $15

For further information or to register: contact Talina McKenzie on qldpoetry@gmail.com



This workshop series is an in-depth opportunity for participants to develop new works intended for publication or performance. Participants will experiment with non-conventional poetic forms and collaborative performance strategies. As well, you will consider how to shape a project, appropriate one’s own material, rework texts, and develop performance. Emphasis will be placed on environmental, corporeal, aural, and spatial awareness within poetry generation.

If you sign up, your full commitment to all five sessions is requested. Please note that August 18 will be a longer “field trip” session. Workshop participants are also encouraged to attend the stand-alone workshops, as this will provide them with an opportunity to experiment with additional composition forms and performance strategies touched upon within the series.

The series is designed for poets of all levels, and is a fantastic opportunity to learn from an internationally acclaimed poet.

When: Tues Jul 24, 6-8pm, Tues Aug 7, 6-8pm, Sat Aug 18, 11am-5pm, Tues Sep 4, 6-8pm, Thurs Sep 13, 6-8pm
Where: Queensland Writers Centre, Level 2, State Library of Queensland, South Brisbane (plus a field trip location to be confirmed)
Cost: $40 for the entire series

For further information or to register: contact Talina McKenzie on qldpoetry@gmail.com


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Farewell Jacob

Jacob Polley’s time as 2011 Arts QLD Poet-in-Residence is sadly coming to a close. I know that I speak for many when I say that he has made an invaluable contribution to our poetry community, during his stay; his deep love of poetry, his warmth and skill as a teacher and his sublime readings have inspired writers all over the state. I am super excited to hear, read and see his legacy poem, written in collaboration with a number of students from QLD Academy of Creative Industries, that will be launched tonight. I have heard on the vine that it looks pretty special… So, to celebrate what has been a superb residency, here’s a video from Jacob’s reading at SpeedPoets on Sunday August 7. Safe travels Jacob… hope to see you back here one day soon.


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QLD Poetry Festival announces the 2011 Arts QLD Poet-in-Residence

The announcement of the Arts QLD Poet-in-Residence (PIR) is always an exciting one. The selected poet is given the opportunity to reside in our state for up to 3months (July – September) to write, engage with the local  and regional poetry community and perform at both QLD Poetry Festival and Brisbane Writers Festival. Past PIR’s include Jacqueline Turner (Canada), Paul Durcan (Ireland), Michael Hoffman (UK), Hinemoana Baker (NZ) and Emily XYZ (USA). Each poet has brought something unique to their residency, and many continue to have a lasting impact on the state of poetry in QLD.

So I was thrilled when I read the announcement that UK poet, Jacob Polley had been selected as the 2011 Arts QLD Poet-in-Residence. I am a great admirer of Jacob’s work and am really looking forward to seeing what he brings to the residency.

Jacob has published two poetry collections, The Brink (2003) and Little Gods (2006), as well as a novel, Talk of the Town (2009). His work has won many awards and has been described as,

Measured, musical and understated. The kind of poetry that imbues the everyday, the tarnished and burnished, with the possibilities of the transcendent. 

Jacob has also collaborated with filmmaker Ian Fenton and has worked extensively with disadvantaged youth.

You can read and listen to a great selection of Jacob’s work at the Poetry Archive and I can also recommend watching the film (for which he wrote the screenplay), Flickerman and the Ivory-Skinned Woman. There is also a great selection of Jacob’s work at his own website www.jacobpolley.com and the QLD Poetry Festival website will be the best place to keep up to date with Jacob’s residency.

I am looking forward to July already.

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Emily XYZ talks about her experience as Arts QLD Poet-in-Residence

Tomorrow night (Tuesday Sept. 21) is the launch of Emily XYZ’s legacy item and farewell party at The Edge, so whether you have RSVP’d or not, I recommend pulling on your disco boots and coming along. Full details of the event can be found here: EVP Launch

With Emily’s time in Australia sadly winding up, I asked her a few questions to get her thoughts on her time as Arts QLD Poet-in-Residence.

How has living in this beautiful city of ours influenced you and your writing over the past couple of months?

Australia generally is a more upbeat place than much of the US right now, especially SE Michigan, where I’ve been living lately. The housing crash, the Detroit auto industry implosion, and the financial crisis all hit the midwest particularly hard.  Australia is in a very different place economically than the US right now.  That alone is nice!  You don’t have the social rifts we are dealing with, either — all the terrible debris of the Bush years.  The US is so polarized right now that forward movement is impossible, and so things are at a standstill.

Being in Australia reminds me that there is hope for the world.  That may sound funny, but it is very encouraging to me the amount of consciousness, on a mundane level, for things like the environment — As a simple example, you have the half/full flush toilets everywhere, which do not exist in the US, I’m sorry to say.  There is also less poverty here, less desperation, and a LOT less gun violence.  It just seems like the place still has a soul, and still cares about doing the right thing.

So all that has a subtle but powerful effect on one’s state of mind.  You find yourself kind of “calming down” here.  I worry less.  Of course, I’m in a special situation as Poet in Residence — visiting artists are treated well — but even so, I find it a very pleasant, civilized place in so many ways.  In terms of Brisbane specifically, it’s an easy city to live in with many things that make daily life good.  Like the Riverwalk, which is maybe my favorite thing here.  It is so unique — I don’t know of any American town that has a walkway like that all along their waterfront!  And it’s so fun — to walk in the air, to see the beauty of the city and the river and the weather.  It just cheers me up every time I’m there.  Just a great thing to have.

So I guess to answer your question, I’m not sure how it’s influenced my WRITING yet — as that is a much bigger, slower-moving thing, an influence on one’s output — but I can say that being here has definitely improved my state of mind.  It’s given me hope.  I feel like maybe Australia is the next great standard-bearer of democracy.  It’s a “young” place in a way that the US is not right now.  You are not afraid to confront things and find answers, or at least take the questions seriously.

You have taken in plenty of poetry events during your residency, so how does the Brisbane scene stack up?

Very well.  There’s a very lively local poetry & writing scene, which I have really enjoyed getting better acquainted with.  There’s a lot to do and participate in if you are a writer, a poet, a spoken-word artist here.  And there’s room for more!  So people should definitely be starting new things, as well.  New readings, new workshops, new venues, new events, new approaches to presenting stuff.  You have to PUT IN to keep the thing growing.  Ask not what the poetry scene can do for you — Ask what you can do for the poetry scene.
You have been busy recording some of your new two-voice poems at the moment… what can we expect?

I recorded two new two-voice poems, “EVP” and “A Little Revolution” (which I wrote here) with no accompaniment, then asked two local guys, Darek Mudge (a producer & sound engineer who also plays in the band Disco Nap) and Matt O’Neill (a music journalist who also creates soundscapes; he works w/ a dance duo called Nostalgia) for remixes, which they very graciously did in a ridiculously short time.  I love the remixes, they are very different responses to the original poems but both very cool.  I think the poems are good, too.  “EVP” means “electronic voice phenomena” and is inspired by those recordings people make of background noise in haunted houses; sometimes you can hear hear strange, unexplained speech-like sounds and those are called EVPs.  Peripherally it’s also about confusion & loss. “A Little Revolution” is a fun song, I call it imaginary disco, partly inspired by the Commodores’ song “Brick House,” a funk classic.

Looking back on the residency what have been your highlights… What will you miss most?

The workshop, no question about it.  I’m pretty happy with the writing I’ve done here, but the workshop was the thing I most enjoyed.  It kept me sane and on track, and I will really miss that group of people.  The twitter poem, too — 90 DAYS IN BRISBANE  (@xyzpoem).  That’s been funny, coming up with a poem in 140 characters or less, every day since July 1, the day I got here!

I was also very happy with the performances Myers & I did, especially at QPF and at the Red Chamber during the Brisbane Writers Festival.  And the slam that night was also pretty wild — Been a long time since I was in a room that loud and lively!

Beyond that, I will miss you and Julie, and Pascalle and Ian.  And Ghostboy most of all.  You guys have all been so great. 

And the laksa at Wok Inn on Brunswick St., and the french fries at Burger Urge.  And caramel slices.  And murraya.  And Speedpoets.  And the walk from Story Bridge to the State Library.  And the Wednesday market at Queen Street.  And the roses in New Farm Park.


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2010 Arts QLD Poet-in-Residence – Emily XYZ

Internationally-renowned two-voice poet and performance artist, Emily XYZ has been selected as the 2010 Poet-in-Residence.

Hailing from New York, the provocateur commences her residency on 1 July and will embark on a three-month program involving regional tours, one-on-one workshops with Queensland poets and writers, and will culminate in appearances with her performance partner Myers Bartlett at the 14th Queensland Poetry Festival.

For more information and a schedule of events, visit: http://qwc.asn.au/ProgramsProjects/Projects/ArtsQueenslandPoetinResidence.aspx

If you have never witnessed the magic of Emily XYZ & Myers Bartlett, here’s a couple of clips you should most definitely check out on Youtube.

Emily XYZ & Myers Bartlett perform Slot Machine & Frank Sinatra

Emily and Myers blew minds when they were last here in 2006 and I am sure that this residency is going to see some amazing art created.



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Black Stump Blues pt. II – Further

In just over a week I am heading out west to Blackall again with Hinemoana Baker (2009 Arts QLD Poet-in-Residence)… I was fortunate enough to have a two week residency out there last year and ever since leaving I have had the ache to return. The country really gets under your skin…

Here’s part II of the poem I wrote during my residency. I posted part I, Beyond back in April this year for those who want to go back and check it out.

Can’t wait to see what writing comes out of this year’s trip…




rise early
to catch mail run
ninety kilometres
of dusty
road deeper
into nowhere


dry earth marked
by dot-dash tracks
of roos catches
morning sun
redder still
against stubble
of gidyea trees


the eye travels
into clear sky
broken by flight
and glide
of kite hawk


bleached skull
parches throat
and lips crack
to draw breath


disturb wedgetail
at breakfast
he looks down
his beak
and struts off
in feathered


pull in
to Isis Downs
discover beauty
in drought-stricken
bones of sheep


feet search out
loose boards
in shearing shed
with weather-beaten
music of this place


the horizon level
through three hundred
and sixty degree sweep
you can see
the whole universe
from here


two hundred
metres down
Dardanelles Rd
I question
its existence


shudder over
cattle grid
Springlea Station
a gate


step out into heat
working dog stops
to greet me


galahs squabble
in what remains
of shade
while shearers
watch the clock
three more sheep
’til smoko


in the pens
sawmill buzz
of flies
the lame beast


wind blows
quickly through me
and tumbleweed
lodges a moment
by a fencepost
then is gone


you are the river
following floodlines
and I this
naked stretch
of land


eyes follow
the road home
words swim
along parallel
lines and blur
into horizon


return to Blackall
for coffee
and cold shower
drive these stories
into my veins


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2009 Arts Queensland Poet-in-Residence Announced

On Monday, Premier Anna Bligh announced that acclaimed New Zealand poet, musician, producer and teacher of creative writing, Hinemoana Baker would take up the position as Queensland’s 2009 Poet-in-Residence. Here is a link to the media release:


So in my excitement, I sent the lovely Hinemoana a few questions about the residency and of course asked her for a poem.


Hinemoana Baker performing at QPF 2006

Hinemoana Baker performing at QPF 2006


As Poet-in-Residence what are you most looking forward to?

I am most looking forward to visiting the Maiwar River again (I think this is the indigenous name for the river that runs through Brisbane…?) It really made a big impression on me last time and I am looking forward to spending time with it again.


Do you have any specific projects that you plan to work on?

Specific projects – well, I have been working for a while on my second book, which touches on aspects of evolution, fertility, grief, state terrorism… but not on purpose. At the moment its working title is ‘I’m sick of this place let’s get back on the canoe’ – named after a painting by an incredible Maori artist, Star Gossage.

A fantastic part of the residency is that I am encouraged to leave behind a ‘legacy item’ – ie to actually produce something creative during the residency. So I’m also planning to do some field recording as I get around the place. I’d like to leave an audio object of some kind, featuring text and the sounds of these places. I’m thinking here of the sounds of the land/buildings/river/vehicles rather than people. For some reason Australia as a land strikes me as having a lot to ‘say’, though possibly not entirely through language.


What do you hope to achieve in the role?

I want to make good, solid connections with fellow poets/writers/artists/lore-breakers. I want to learn a lot more about the aboriginal story in that part of Australia. If I leave there having made/written something with integrity, excellence and/or sex appeal I’ll be thrilled. But mostly I want to be present to what your part of the world has to say to me.


I, Muttaburrasaurus langdoni (excerpt)

One morning my love woke
questioning her fragile health.
She was straight awake

no languid scratching
and stretching
but tremors of uncertainty

in the muscles of her face.
I looked to the sea
waves folding in without foam

or spray, oily. We ate
fruit, as usual. We didn’t
get this big on foliage alone.


Feel the floating walkway
rise and fall under your feet.
with the wake

of the river catamarans
ferrying the people
 to the city.

The wake makes the walkway
sigh. Inside themselves
the people liquify.


In the deep sea around this land
lives a fish, head big as a stone
Stare at it through this glass

so thick it bends
the reliable light, remember
your childhood bed

the blue candlewick
spread, the upholstered
piano chair.

A gellulose gooseberry
makes its movements.
You chant


in the mind behind your eyes.


This small boy
thinks he is in New Zealand.
We’re going to the Newzealand today.

There’s a dinosaur skeleton in the Newzealand.
With his small hand
he reaches up to the fork made of pearl

shell, so white, how smooth it must feel.
Do they all eat this way
here in the Newzealand?


No-one could have predicted
the turn of events
everything we knew

turning away from us
by degrees
the trees withholding

first their fruit
then their leaves
their company.



About Hinemoana:

Hinemoana Baker is a multi-talented artist who works in the
fields of music and language.

She has published, produced and performed as a poet and
singer-songwriter since the early 1990’s in New Zealand
and overseas. She writes lyrical poetry and folk-based
acoustic music, as well as experimenting with sonic art and
new music forms. Hinemoana has also edited two Anthologies
of New Zealand poetry.

Hinemoana’s first book ‘matuhi | needle’ was published by
Victoria University Press in Wellington and Perceval Press
in the US. Her writing has been published in many New
Zealand and international anthologies, including the
respected literary journals ‘SPORT’, ‘Turbine’ and
‘Best New Zealand Poems’.

As a musician and producer, Hinemoana has produced four
albums and sometimes works as a features producer for Radio
New Zealand.  As a writer, she is a graduate of the Masters
in Creative Writing programme at the International Institute
of Modern Letters, at Victoria University of Wellington.

Hinemoana has performed in many national and international
festivals, including the New Zealand International Arts
Festival and WOMAD. She has shared stages with a range of
well-known performers and writers, from poets laureate Bill
Manhire and Jenny Bornholdt to iconic New Zealand musicians
Don McGlashan, Mahinaarangi Tocker and Kiri Te Kanawa.

“I feel my varying creative pursuits are really just
story-telling, coupled with a passion for sound: whether
it’s the sound of words, music, waiata tawhito
(traditional chants), my diving gear, whatever. It’s just
the delivery mechanism that changes,” she says.

Hinemoana lives in the Kapiti Coast seaside town of
Paekakariki, in New Zealand’s North Island. She says her
inspiration comes from her mixed Maori and Pakeha heritage
– Ngati Raukawa / Ngati Tukorehe, Ngati Toa Rangatira, Te
Ati Awa / Ngati Mutunga, Ngai Tahu, Ngati Kiritea (Europe);
and her love of language and languages.

Currently Hinemoana is in the final throes of completing a
new collection of poems which, at the moment, is called
‘I’m Sick Of This Place Let’s Get Back On The Canoe’,
which touches on a range of subjects: grief, state
terrorism, fossils, fertility.

TheHer musical duo ‘Taniwha’ has just released an album
– their first – called ‘Snap Happy’, due to be
launched in May 2009.

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