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Perth Poetry Festival 2020

Home > Perth > Festivals | Books and Writing | Literary | Poetry | Workshops
by MaggieVP (subscribe)
Freelance writer specialising in serendipity: the art of finding wonderful things by accident or sagacity. Comments and suggestions always welcome!
Event: -
The state of the world calls out for poetry to save it*
The Perth Poetry Festival is back in 2020 with exciting national and international guests. Postponed from its usual date due to COVID-19, the festival is now set to go from 18 to 27 September. This year the festival is taking advantage of technology to present some of the events via Zoom thanks to COVID restrictions. As always there will be a variety of performances, workshops and many opportunities for public participation.

Perth Poetry Festival 2020

The Perth Poetry Festival is proudly presented by WA Poets (WAPI). WAPI is a non-profit organisation with the goal of developing and promoting poets and poetry in Western Australia. Now in its 16th year, the festival features invited international, national and local poets in a diverse program of free and low-cost events. Professional development is also supported by workshops and networking opportunities. If you loved poetry at school (or even if you hated it), the festival is the place to catch up with new trends and enjoy old favourites.

As of this writing, the festival has 11 confirmed events plus 8 workshops. Some are highlighted below and the full program can be found here . Please note the program is subject to change. Follow the Facebook page for the latest information.

Wondering what to expect at a poetry festival? Watch a few highlights from the 2018 Festival

video by Georgina Conti

One of the best ways to enjoy a poet's work is to hear the poet reading it. Here are a few opportunities to listen and perhaps read your own work.

Poetry Gala
Thursday 24 September, 7 – 10 pm
Moana Hall
15 waged/$10 un-waged. To book click here. Limited door sales
Featuring a keynote speech by Festival Patron, Andrew Burke and a taste of what is to come from guest poets; Michael Dylan Welch (USA), Anne-Marie Te Whiu (QLD), David Stavanger(OLD), David McCooey (VIC), Fable Glodsmith, Samantha Melia, Taonga Sendama plus the Creatrix Poetry and Haiku Prize presentations.

Young Poets
Saturday 19 September, 2-4 pm
Moon Café
Entry by donation
All of the poets who are reading for this segment are still at school and just about to begin their final school examinations. They found poetry allowed for interpretation of life events as well as diverse thinking about what it means to be human in this day and age. This is a combined WA Poets/Perth Poetry Club event and includes limited open mic.

All the Poets
Saturday 26 September, 2-4 pm
Moon Cafe
Entry by donation
A smattering of poetry from all of the festival guest poet in person or via Zoom; Michael Dylan Welch (USA), Anne-Marie Te Whiu (QLD), David Stavanger(QLD), David McCooey (VIC), Fable Glodsmith, Samantha Melia and Taonga Sendama. This is a combined WA Poets/Perth Poetry Club event and includes limited open mic.

Friday 18 September 7 – 9.30pm
This is a Zoom event.
$10 waged/$5 un-waged To book click here
Join us for an evening of LGBTIQA poetry as we celebrate the diversity of queer verse here in Perth… and beyond. As always, OUTspoken is a fundraising event. This year we will be raising funds for Noongar Radio's first-ever LGBTIQA radio show, Rainbow KINection.


Every year the guest poets offer workshops on various aspects of writing and performing poetry. The workshops are a great way to learn from the experience of published authors from around Australia and the world. The workshops are also useful for networking with other local writers. The full program is here with some highlights below.

Cost per workshop
$30 Regular
$25 WA Poets Inc and Writers United members, Students and Pensioners.
$25 via Zoom (some workshops have the option of participating via Zoom) To book workshops click on the link at the end of each workshop descriptor. A booking fee applies to all purchases. Note: workshops sell out quickly so book ASAP to secure a place.

Fable Goldsmith
Sunday 20 September, 11.30 am–1.30 pm
WAPI Office
Blackout/erasure poetry. Here participants will learn the art of erasure poetry. Each participant will be given the same page of words and here we will find that our own experiences act to shape the way we speak This workshop would be beneficial to anyone interested in creating new work, no previous experience is necessary.

Take a Walk on the haiku Side (ginko)
Michael Dylan Welch (via Zoom)
Friday 25th Sept.9.30 am–11.00 am
Kings Park (meet 9.15am at the Wildflower Pavilion near the Boab Tree)
Join Michael Dylan Welch for a directed haiku-writing amble (known as a "ginko") through Kings Park. We'll explore the sights and sounds while paying attention to our five senses, writing and sharing poems and discussing the experience together as a stepping stone to developing a regular haiku practice. This workshop is open to everyone but some understanding of haiku would be an advantage.

Perth Poetry Festival 2020
Build your poetry library

Enjoy the festival year-round by purchasing one of the many books on sale with the newest on offer at a FREE event:

Book Launches
Sunday 20 September, 7-9.30 pm
Moana Hall

Creatrix 3
Join WA Poets Publishing and Andrew Burke in launching:
an anthology of selected poetry and haiku from the Creatrix issues published 2017–19.

New & Selected.
Peter Holland will launch Andrew Burke's latest publication. This new selection ranges over many books from the 1970s until the present, covering the highs and lows of life in the cadence of everyday speech. Books available throughout the festival.

Of Moon & Sea
Jan Napier will launch the Poets@KSP anthology followed by select readings by contributors.

Be sure to check out the complete program and follow the Facebook page for the latest info.

*Quote by American poet Lawrence Ferlinghetti.
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Why? Enjoy poetry from WA, Australia and overseas
When: Friday 18 September to Sunday 27 September
Where: Various Perth venues, check program for details
Cost: Free or low cost
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by MaggieVP on 27/07/2016
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