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Poetry Sydney program 2019

Sunday 2 June 2019     | Conviction and Community: David Adès and Les Wicks 

Conviction and Community: David Ades and Les Wicks will be reading from their own and each other’s works. David’s is very much focused on love, friendship, family and inclusion while Les explores the concept of belief, its bones and bonfires.

David Adès is the author of Mapping the World and Afloat in Light, and the chapbook Only the Questions Are Eternal.  David has won the University of Canberra Vice-Chancellor’s International Poetry Prize, been nominated for a Pushcart Prize and shortlisted for several other prizes in Australia, the U.S and Israel.

Les Wicks has performed widely. Published across 29 countries in 14 languages. Conducts workshops around Australia & runs Meuse Press which focuses on poetry outreach projects like poetry on buses & poetry published on the surface of a river. His 14th book of poetry is Belief (Flying Islands, 2019).

First Sunday of the month, 2pm
March-November 2019

Brett Whiteley Studio
2 Raper Street, Surry Hills
Sydney, NSW Australia

Sunday 7 July 2019    | Aural Anthology

This is the annual open reading. Poets interested in participating should email

Sunday 4 August 2019     | Ali Whitelock

Ali Whitelock is a Sydney based Scottish poet and writer. Her first book, (a memoir), Poking Seaweed with a Stick and Running Away from the Smell, was published to critical acclaim in Australia and the UK. Her debut poetry collection, And My Heart Crumples Like a Coke Can, published by Wakefield Press, 2018. Many of her poems have appeared in magazines and journals in Australia, the UK and the USA, and she has featured in literary festivals in Australia and the UK. She is the coordinator of the regular reading event The Sydney Poetry Lounge, at the Friend in Hand Hotel, Glebe.

Sunday 1 September 2019     | Detroit: Phil Hammial

Phil Hammial left Detroit, USA, when he was 17 years old in 1967. Now in his 80s he considers the energy in his poetry to come from his youthful roots. He returned in 2012 to a ghost city of 35,000 abandoned homes, 400 abandoned commercial and cultural iconic buildings. Last year he went home to find a city in development and renovation. It’s energy renewed. Phil has 32 collections of poetry published and has as many solo sculpture exhibitions. His poems have appeared in 31 anthologies in seven countries and in 129 journals in 16 countries. He has featured in numerous national literary festivals and has represented Australia at fourteen international festivals. His sixteenth collection, In the Year of Our Lord Slaughter’s Children, was short-listed for the Kenneth Slessor Prize in 2004, as was his fourteenth collection, Bread, in 2001. In 2010 his twenty-first collection, Skin Theory, was short-listed for the ACT Poetry Book Prize. In October 2018 Sheep Meadow Press in NY State published Detroit & Selected Poems, a large format 288 page collection, Hammial’s first collection to be published in the country of his birth.

Sunday 6 October 2019     |  Margaret Bradstock and friends read John Upton

Margaret Bradstock is a Sydney poet, critic and editor. She has seven published collections of poetry, including The Pomelo Tree (winner of the Wesley Michel Wright Prize) and Barnacle Rock (winner of the Woollahra Festival Award, 2014). Editor of Antipodes: poetic responses to ‘settlement’ (2011) and Caring for Country, she won the national Earth Hour poetry competition in 2014, and the Banjo Paterson Award in both 2014 and 2015. Brief Garden is her latest collection published by Puncher Wattmann, 2019.

John Upton was a professional dramatist for 27 years. He was scriptwriter for more than twenty Australian television series, and had five stage plays produced over his career as a writer. His poetry has been published in The Australian, The Canberra TimesCorditeQuadrantThe Sydney Morning Herald and many other literary magazines and anthologies.

Sunday 3 November 2019      | Take a look: Peter Boyle

Peter Boyle is a Sydney-based poet and translator of poetry. He is the author of seven books of poetry, most recently Ghostspeaking which won the 2017 Kenneth Slessor Prize and was shortlisted for the Adelaide Festival Award for Poetry. In 2017 he was also awarded the Philip Hodgins Memorial Medal for Excellence in Literature. Other poetry collections by Peter Boyle include Towns in the Great Desert (2013), Apocrypha (2009) which won the Queensland Premier’s Prize and the Judith Wright (ACT) Award, Museum of Space (2004) and The Blue Cloud of Crying (1997) which won the Adelaide Festival Award and the National Book Council (Banjo) Award. Peter Boyle’s poetry has appeared in journals, poetry magazines, ezines and books in 12 countries. As a translator of poetry from Spanish and French he has had six books published. His translations of poetry by José Kozer, Marosa di Giorgio, Olga Orozco, Eugenio Montejo and René Char, among others, have appeared in anthologies, magazines and journals in England, the United States and Australia. Recent books as a translator include Jasmine for Clementina Médici by Marosa di Giorgio and Poems of Olga Orozco, Marosa di Giorgio, Jorge Palma(2017), and Índole/Of Such A Nature by José Kozer due (2018), University of Alabama Press. In 2013 Peter received the New South Wales Premier’s Prize for Literary Translation. Peter has recently completed a Doctorate of Creative Arts at Western Sydney University, focusing on the relationship between the tradition of heteronymous poetry and poetry translation. He has been commissioned to write a poem in response to a selected art work in the Australian Galleries, AGNSW collections for Look Magazine, AGNSW membership magazine.


Featured poets in the Poetry Sydney Program 2019

2-3pm Sunday 3 March   | Richard James Allen: Natural Disasters

In response to the current Brett Whiteley exhibition, wildlife and other emergencies in which we experience some of the most brutal, primal work, Richard James Allen explores the internal rhythms of the most wild animal of all: the human being. Delicate and viscera, empathetic and playful, sensuous and unsettling, Allen’s poetry is an elusive love song to memory and imagination, a paean to the human capacity for paradox and self-delusion. In a reading immersed in art and punctuated by dance, drawing on his newly published book, The short story of you and I (UWAP), Allen brings an unblinking gaze to the things we think we know and allows us to see them anew.

Richard James Allen is an Australian born poet whose writing has appeared widely in journals, anthologies, and online over many years. Creator of #RichardReads, an online compendium of Global Poetry, Read Aloud, he has written ten books of poetry and edited a national anthology of writing for performance. Richard is also well known for his multi-award-winning career as a filmmaker and choreographer with The Physical TV Company (, and as a performer in a range of media and contexts.

2-3pm Sunday 7 April   | Judith Crispin

Judith Crispin is an internationally published poet with three monographs to her name. She is a creative director for cultural heritage projects, a visual artist and writer. Currently she directs the Kurdiji 1.0 Aboriginal suicide prevention project. Until 2017, she led the Australian Catholic University’s Julfa project, which reconstructed a destroyed Armenian cemetery as a large-scale virtual reality presentation. Until 2015 she was director and curator of Manning Clark House, a centre that has championed Australian History, culture and human rights since the days of its founder, Dymphna Clark. She has run scholarly institutions, designed academic programs and research projects, and taught sound art, poetry, photography and literature in universities across Australia and Germany. Since 2011 Judith has spent several months of every year living and working with Warlpiri people in Lajamanu, Central Desert. She has learned to speak some Warlpiri language, and published a book with contributions from elders. Most of Judith’s current work centres around Aboriginal cultural heritage and its role in increasing resilience in young Indigenous people. Judith’s poetry and visual art practice is informed by her Bpangerang ancestry.

Robert Adamson is an internationally recognised poet and one of Australia’s most respected and awarded writers. Adamson will make a special guest appearance to read as mentor of Judith.

Image: She had never been a big person, but when Caroline entered the afterworld, the movement of her wings turned the air to ice crystal c Judith Crispin

2-3pm Sunday 5 May   | Graham Foust

American poet Graham Foust is the author of seven books of poems, the most recent being Nightingalelessness (Flood Editions, 2018).  His poems and prose have appeared in numerous magazines and journals, including The NationBoston ReviewAmerican Letters and CommentaryA Public SpaceGulf CoastVerse, and Fence.  With Samuel Frederick, he translated three books by the late German poet Ernst Meister:  In Time’s Rift (Wave Books, 2012), Wallless Space (Wave Books, 2014), and Of Entirety Say the Sentence (Wave Books, 2015).  He lives in Colorado and works at the University of Denver.

FB event page: Graham Foust


First Sunday of the month, 2pm
March-November 2019

Brett Whiteley Studio
2 Raper Street, Surry Hills
Sydney, NSW Australia

10:00am – 4:00pm Friday – Sunday
Free admission made possible by J.P. Morgan

Acknowledgement of Country: Poetry Sydney acknowledges the First Australians on whose traditional lands we occupy, and their elders past, present and emerging, whose cultures are among the oldest continuing cultures in human history. We give particular respect to the Gadigal people of the Eora Nation, in which we live, create, meet and work.