Shelley wrote that ‘Poets are the unacknowledged legislators of the world’. Today it’s more accurate to say they’re the opposite: they are rule-breakers who stand for linguistic and artistic freedom. While their songs might lack melody per se, they live in perpetual rhythm with nature and with themselves.
This year Writers Week presents an unusually rich and broad selection of new work from emerging and established Australian poets. From a tribute to the late Fay Zwicky and new collections from stalwarts such as John Kinsella and Tracy Ryan to brilliant debuts by Charlotte Guest, Carolyn Abbs and Stuart Barnes, there is something for everyone.
Not only that; readers and listeners have the chance to catch their words on the wing in conversation, as well as in performance, in a range of intimate venues within the University Club of WA. Many sessions are free, the rest are inexpensive.
For those who prefer to take their poetry with music, there is even a special song recital by WA soprano Katja Webb of Aaron Copland’s Twelve Poems of Emily Dickinson, followed by a stimulating discussion between Webb and poet and musician David McCooey on the relationships between poetry and music.
Moving into slam mode, Poetry Land I and Poetry Land II feature five poets apiece in quick succession – a smorgasbord of styles, while Australian Poetry presents A Gala for Fay Zwicky with poetic tributes from some of our best and brightest practitioners.
So why not join the unacknowledged rule-breakers of the world in a sometimes gentle, sometimes riotous celebration of language?
The Criminal Re-Register - Ross Gibson
False Claims of Colonial Thieves – Charmaine Papertalk Green & John Kinsella on the politics of poetry and the poetry of politics.
Press Anthology of WA Poetry – John Kinsella & Tracy Ryan on the richness and diversity of Western Australian poetry.
Poetry Land I & II – a series of intimate poetry readings https://www.perthfestival.com.au/event/poetry-land
On the Outskirts – Dante, Blake, the nature of poetics and the poetics of nature.
The Tiny Museums – Carolyn Abbs discusses her exquisite new collection of poetry.
Glasshouses – The potency of poetry and borrowed word-worlds.
The Water Bearer – Tracy Ryan on fluency literally and metaphorically and why no word is an island.
The Alarming Conservatory – A closer look at Corey Wakeling’s new poetry collection.
Poetry Into Music – Katja Webb sings Aaron Copland’s Twelve Poems of Emily Dickinson.
A Gala for Fay Zwicky – A celebration of the life and work of one of Australia's greatest poets, the late Fay Zwicky. https://www.perthfestival.com.au/event/history-and-the-poet
Homing – Shevaun Cooley explores what constitutes a home.
Star Struck – David McCooey on life and death as play
The Poets Speak – A chat with poets Shevaun Cooley & Charlotte Guest.