With an unexpected turn of phrase or lyrical twist, poetry can surprise, thrill and invite readers to make meaning from between the lines. Hear from acclaimed Australian artists and writers Maxine Beneba Clarke and Omar Musa as they discuss their electrifying new poetry collections, which upend conventional wisdom about colonial history, climate change and our pandemic-afflicted times. Maxine’s How Decent Folk Behave extends her reputation as a “powerful and fearless storyteller” (Dave Eggers), while Omar’s Killernova has been described as “if Frank Ocean ghost-wrote Nostradamus” (Hera Lindsay Bird). They appear in conversation with Evelyn Araluen (Dropbear).


Presented in partnership with Australian Poetry, via the Copyright Agency Cultural Fund. This event is open captioned.

Maxine Beneba Clarke (Australian)

Maxine Beneba Clarke

Maxine Beneba Clarke is the ABIA and Indie award winning author of over nine books for adults and children, including the critically acclaimed short fiction collection Foreign Soil, the bestselling memoir The Hate Race, the Victorian Premier's Award-winning poetry collection Carrying the World, and the Boston Globe/Horn Prize winning picture book The Patchwork Bike, illustrated by Van T. Rudd. She is the editor of Best Australian Stories 2017, and Growing Up African in Australia. Her most recent poetry collection is How Decent Folk Behave.

Omar Musa (Australian)

Omar Musa

Omar Musa is a Bornean-Australian author, visual artist and poet from Queanbeyan, Australia. He has released four poetry books (including Killernova), four hip-hop records, and received a standing ovation at TEDx Sydney at the Sydney Opera House. His debut novel Here Come the Dogs was longlisted for the International Dublin Literary Award and the Miles Franklin Award and he was named one of the Sydney Morning Herald’s Young Novelists of the Year in 2015. His one-man play, Since Ali Died, won Best Cabaret Show at the Sydney Theatre Awards in 2018. He has had several solo exhibitions of his woodcut prints.

Evelyn Araluen (Australian)

Evelyn Araluen

Evelyn Araluen is a poet, researcher and co-editor of Overland Literary Journal. Her widely published criticism, fiction and poetry has been awarded the Nakata Brophy Prize for Young Indigenous Writers, the Judith Wright Poetry Prize, a Wheeler Centre Next Chapter Fellowship, and a Neilma Sidney Literary Travel Fund grant. Born and raised on Dharug country, she is a descendant of the Bundjalung Nation. Evelyn’s debut collection Dropbear won the 2022 Stella Prize.