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Distant Voices - Queensland Poetry Festival 2017

Home > Brisbane > Poetry | Performing Arts | Music | Festivals | Workshops
by May Cross (subscribe)
I'm a writer, artist and keen photographer.
Event: -
Making Poetry Cool
"Come sit down beside me, " I said to myself.

And although it doesn't make sense,

I held my own hand as a small sign of trust

And together I sat on the fence.

by Michael Leunig

This is one of my favourite poems. I love the absurdity of it. And I can't wait to see Leunig when he 'performs' in Brisbane. Check out his My Shoe poem too.

michael leunig cartoon mugs poetry
Leunig - poet and cartoonist

The 21st Queensland Poetry Festival (QPF) turns up the volume on the finest local and international poetic voices. The Festival is held from 24 to 27 August at the Judith Wright Centre of Contemporary Arts and a host of other exciting satellite venues. It features 120 artists in 80 sessions over four dynamic days and nights, and best of all, 75% of the sessions are FREE.

distant voices, poetry, poems, festival
Distant Voices (courtesy of organiser)

Building on over 6,000 attendees last year, QPF2017 is the festival's biggest and most ambitious venture yet, showcasing poetry without borders and spoken word without walls. Redefining the poetic art form, the packed line-up includes slam poets, live music, panels, workshops, visual art installations, spoken word, film screenings, performance art, comedy and an inaugural poetry Publishers and Zine Fair.

With a theme of 'Distant Voices', QPF2017 will also emphasise First Nation, refugee, and culturally and linguistically diverse poets and performers from across Australia and the globe.

QPF2017 Literary Cabaret featuring poetic luminaries Mark Doty (USA), Maxine Beneba Clarke, Omar Musa and more;
Travelling Light Leonard Cohen tribute show with a stellar line-up of local poets and musicians;
Spoken word superstar Luka Lesson in concert;
A late night Queer Literary Salon; Writing Through Fences;
Viral Verse featuring some of the online stars of poetry including Hera Lindsay Bird (NZ) and Patricia Lockwood (US); and
An afternoon with Australian National Living Treasure, cartoonist and poet Michael Leunig.

joy harjo, US poet, musician author
Joy Harjo (courtesy of organiser)

This year's festival also welcomes two Arts Queensland Poets in Residence:
1. Award-winning US poet, musician and author Joy Harjo, a member of the Mvskoke Nation and a pivotal figure in the Native American Renaissance; and
2. Award-winning New Zealand poet, playwright, fiction writer and musician Courtney Sina Meredith.

courtney sina meredith NZ poet
Courtney Sina Meredith (courtesy of organiser)

QPF is also delighted to have Windham-Campbell Prize-winning poet, visual artist and memoirist Ali Cobby Eckermann (recently featured on Lateline) as the 2017 Indigenous Poet in Residence, proudly sponsored by ATSICHS.

Tickets and full programme available from: and the Judith Wright Centre of Contemporary Arts:

judith Wright centre, the judy, contemporary arts
The Judy (Adam Finch)

Satellite venues include Brisbane Square Library:
Poetry of the body, poetry of the mind - Thursday 24th August 10am to 5pm (4 sessions)
Writing poetry for kids - Saturday 26th, 1pm to 2pm
Children's poetry reading - Saturday 26th, 2pm to 2.30pm
Voices of Colour: Multi-lingual slam - Sunday 27th, 10.30am to 12.30pm.
These 4 events are all FREE but bookings are essential. Please phone 07 3403 4166 to book.
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Why? More people than ever are slowly but surely turning their ears toward poetry.
When: Thursday 24 August to Sunday 27 August 2017
Phone: 07 3872 9000
Where: Judith Wright Centre of Contemporary Arts, 420 Brunswick St (Cnr Berwick St)
Cost: 75% of events are FREE. Ticketed events from $15
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the poetry slam was good
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