“Poets are the unacknowledged legislators of the world,” Percy Bysshe Shelley once mused. His famous epithet resonates today as readers turn to a new generation of poets who are bringing rhyme and reason to bear on thorny ideas and urgent emotions in uncertain times. In this special event, the poets behind some of the year’s most thought-provoking and stirring works read and perform from their works. Featuring Eunice Andrada (TAKE CARE), Tony Birch (Whisper Songs), Maxine Beneba Clarke (How Decent Folk Behave), Madison Godfrey, Sarah Holland-Batt (The Jaguar and Fishing for Lightning), Jazz Money (how to make a basket), Omar Musa (Killernova) and Sara M. Saleh, with host Declan Fry.
Jazz Money (Australian)
Jazz Money is a Wiradjuri poet and artist currently based on Gadigal land. Her practice is centred around the written word while producing works that encompass installation, digital, film and print. Jazz's writing has been widely performed and published nationally and internationally. Her David Unaipon Award-winning debut collection how to make a basket was published in 2021.
Maxine Beneba Clarke (Australian)
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.
Tony Birch (Australian)
Tony Birch is the author of the bestselling The White Girl, winner of 2020 NSW Premier’s Award for Indigenous Writing and shortlisted for the 2020 Miles Franklin Award; Ghost River, winner of the 2016 Victorian Premier’s Literary Award for Indigenous Writing; and Blood, shortlisted for the 2012 Miles Franklin Award. He is also the author of four short-story collections Shadowboxing, Father’s Day, The Promise and Common People. His latest works include the poetry collection Whisper Songs and the short story collection Dark As Last Night.
Sarah Holland-Batt (Australian)
Sarah Holland-Batt is an award-winning poet, writer, editor and critic. Her most recent books are The Jaguar, and Fishing for Lightning, a collection of her poetry columns in The Australian. She is currently the 2022 Judy Harris Writer in Residence at the Charles Perkins Centre, University of Sydney, and Professor of Creative Writing at QUT. In 2016, she was awarded the Prime Minister's Literary Award for Poetry.
Omar Musa (Australian)
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.
Sara M. Saleh (Australian)
Sara M. Saleh is a poet, writer, activist, and the daughter of migrants from Palestine, Egypt and Lebanon, living on Gadigal land. Sara's writing has been published in English and Arabic in various outlets, and she has spoken and performed in classrooms, community spaces, and at festivals nationally and internationally. In 2021, she won both the Peter Porter and Judith Wright Poetry Prizes. Sara's debut novel, Songs for The Dead and The Living (Affirm Press) is out next year. She is a proud Bankstown Poetry Slam 'Slambassador'
Eunice Andrada (Australian)
Eunice Andrada is a poet and educator. Her first poetry collection Flood Damages won the Anne Elder Award and was shortlisted for the Victorian Premier’s Literary Award for Poetry and the Dame Mary Gilmore Award. Take Care is her second poetry collection. Born and raised in the Philippines, she currently lives and writes on unceded Gadigal Land.
Madison Godfrey (Australian)
Madison 'Maddie' Godfrey is a writer, educator, and emotional feminist. They have performed poetry at The Sydney Opera House, St Paul's Cathedral and Glastonbury Festival. Madison is a previous recipient of the Kat Muscat Fellowship, the Varuna Poetry Flagship Fellowship and was recently rewarded a WA Youth Award for their 'Creative Contributions' to the state. Currently Madison is completing their PhD and living on Whadjuk Noongar land with a rescue cat named Sylvia.
Declan Fry (Australian)
Born on Wongatha country in Kalgoorlie, Declan Fry has written for The Guardian, Overland, Australian Book Review, Liminal, Westerly and elsewhere. His Meanjin essay “Justice for Elijah or a Spiritual Dialogue with Ziggy Ramo, Dancing” received the 2021 Peter Blazey Fellowship and he has been shortlisted for the Judith Wright Poetry Prize. He currently lives with his partner, their pup Walnut, and a cat, Turnip. His latest story will appear in the forthcoming anthology Another Australia.