Here’s where I’ll post information about up-and-coming poetry readings and other events I’m featuring in. By the way, Among the regulars is sold out. My most recent collections of poetry: the thin bridge (2014), out now through Whitmore Press, Immune Systems (2015), out through Transit Lounge, that knocking (2016), out through Little Windows, and Music Our Bodies Can’t Hold (2017), out through Hunter Publishers are all available. You’ll be able to buy them direct from me, and the publishers, and they should be also available at Collected Works (perhaps the greatest bookshop in the world) and Brunswick Bound (also a fantastic store) both in Melbourne, or get your local independent bookshop to order them in…
Coming Up –
Eltham Courthouse Poetry, 7.30 to 9.30pm, Thursday 16th August. One of the longest-running and warmest readings in Melbourne, in the cosy surrounds of the old Eltham Courthouse. Open Mic theme this month is “Portrait”. $5 entry fee includes a drink and nibbles. At 728 Main Road Eltham (cnr Brougham St).
Melbourne Poets Union at the Taproom!, 2pm to 4pm, Sunday 26th August. Featuring myself, Alan Pentland, and one more poet TBC. At The Mill complex, 9 Walker St Castlemaine.
Poetry on the Move 2018, 13th to 17th September. Various venues and many estimable poets converge on Canberra for this annual festival. Details here.
2018 events –
“I am an other”: (Auto)Biographical Poetry Workshop at Siteworks Brunswick, 1pm-4pm Sunday 3rd June. For new and developing poets, I’ll take you through some techniques and experiments to get you thinking and writing. How can you write in the voice of someone else? Empathy, solidarity, research? Something other?
Going Down Swinging presents “In Full Swing” at Rokeby Studios Collingwood, 6pm-9pm Friday 25th May. As part of the massive Melbourne Spoken Word and Poetry Festival, I’ll be reading at this event, with the revelatory Amy Bodossian, the fearless Soreti Kadir and master of ceremonies (and poetry and cricket) Geoff Lemon.
3CR Benefit at Grub Food Van Fitzroy, 7pm-9pm Tuesday 15th May. Honoured to be included on this lineup, with proceeds going to the radical community radio station 3CR, which broadcasts the gem of a show Spoken Word. More details to come.
“Poetry at the Dan O’Connell”, 2pm-4pm Saturday 12th May. One of the longest-running regular poetry readings in the country, the Dan Poets is a delicious and uncanny stew, with a lively open mic.
“David Stavanger – Electric Journal” plus “Page vs Stage” at the Wheeler Centre, 6pm-8pm Friday 4th May. David Stavanger presents poems on mental health, ECT and human connection. Also featuring a mock-battle, page vs stage – myself vs Eleanor Jackson, where poetry is the winner.
“Castlemaine Pride” at the Botanic Gardens, 2pm-5pm Sunday 29th April. Post-postal survey, reminded of the crucial value of solidarity and love, Castlemaine’s queer community and their allies are getting together to celebrate. Music, poetry, food, support and information, and maybe even a wedding! Free, of course!
“Risky Business” at the Malthouse Theatre, 7pm-8pm Thursday 26th April. Emma J Hawkins in unicorn cabaret mode, myself doing some unsettling/comforting body poems, Kate Hood turning a classic Shakespearean speech on its head, and Will McRostie turning it all into audio description. The fourth wall, broken by a ramp. Free, but bookings recommended.
Cafe Philosophique Des Toilette, Wednesday 28th March. 8.30pm to 10pm at The Alex Theatre, Level 1, 135 Fitzroy St St Kilda. Three poets – Sharifa A. Tartoussi, Abdul Hammoud and myself – alongside philosopher Alison Kennedy – respond to graffiti found on a Melbourne toilet wall (!).
Books Plus Poet, Friday 2nd March. 5.30pm for a 6pm start, at Books Plus, 16 Hargreaves St Castlemaine. Hosted by Ross Donlon, this monthly reading is a feature-only event – no open mic, but a warm and intimate room, with space for audience Q&A.
Castlemaine Launch of “Music Our Bodies Can’t Hold”, Thursday 25th January. 5.30pm for a 6pm start, at The Taproom (Shedshaker Brewing), The Mill, 9 Walker St Castlemaine. Hosted by Ross Donlon, launch speech by Terence Jaensch.
2017 events –
Launch of “Music Our Bodies Can’t Hold“, Saturday 9th December. 2pm start, at the iconic Collected Works Bookshop, Level 1, 37 Swanston St Melbourne (Nicholas Building). This collection of portrait poems of other people with Marfan Syndrome, from historical figures to anonymous friends will be launched by acclaimed poet, novelist, speech-writer Joel Deane. Details here.
Queensland Poetry Festival, Sunday 27th August. “Each Map of Scars” comes to the renowned annual poetry festival, appearing alongside some the best performance poets and writers from Australia and overseas. Details here.
Perth Poetry Festival, Thursday 17th to Sunday 20th August. This annual festival in the west, featuring poets from across Australia (and some international guests) is truly rich and diverse. Details here.
Williamstown Literary Festival, Saturday 17th June, 2pm to 3pm. This beautiful, bayside festival of words features a myriad of events over the weekend. Myself, Rachael Guy and Leah Kaminsky are featuring in “Poetic Medicine: Writing and the Body“, a panel discussion inspired by the recent landmark anthology “Shaping the Fractured Self: Poetry of Chronic Illness and Pain” (UWAP, 2017).
Christmas Hills Writers and Readers Festival, Saturday 29th April. This new day-long (9am to 5pm) event hosts a stellar line-up of writers – Bruce Pascoe, Alexis Wright, Tony Birch, Ramona Koval, Andy Jackson and Sandy Jeffs – all speaking on the crucial and complex issues of identity and community. At Christmas Hills Mechanics Institute Hall, 787 Ridge Rd, Christmas Hills. $25. Bookings here.
RMIT Writer-in-Residence, Tuesday 28th March. The residency is Monday 27th to Wednesday 29th March, but the public events are on Tuesday. At 1pm to 4pm, I’ll be at the Urban Writing House, hosting a drop-in-and-chat-to-the-poet session, which will include incorporating our conversations in new poems. At 6pm to 7.30pm, I’ll be giving a reading and Q&A, also at the Urban Writing House.
Castlemaine State Festival, Saturday 18th 8pm & Sunday 19th 6pm. Very excited to feature at this renowned arts festival in central Victoria, with “Each Map of Scars”. Details and bookings here.
2016 events –
Castlemaine Poetry Festival, Friday 21st to Sunday 23rd October. This looks set to be the best literary festival outside a major city – featuring a poetry slam, workshops and readings, a poets’ dinner, and more – including Omar Musa, Nathan Curnow, Chloe Wilson, Mike Ladd, myself and others. Various venues & prices. Details here.
The Owl and the Pussycat, Sunday 3rd July. 4pm start. Featuring myself and Sam Ferrante. The inheritor to the House of Bricks reading, this monthly event is new and a buzz. 34 Swan St, Richmond.
Little Windows Chapbooks Launch, Thursday 16th June. 7pm start. New small-press Little Windows present collectible new collections from Jill Jones, Alison Flett, John Glenday (Scotland) and myself. Booknook & Bean, Topham Mall, Adelaide.
The Lee Marvin Readings, Tuesday 12th April. 7.30pm for 8pm start. Featuring Rebekah Clarkson, Heather Taylor Johnson, Matt Hooton and myself. Hosted by the suave wit Ken Bolton, at Dark Horsey Bookshop, Experimental Art Foundation, North Terrace Adelaide.
Sporting Poets, Sunday 3rd April. 5pm for 5.30pm start. Featuring John Hawke, Matthew Hall and myself. Short, sharp and sporting in a way you may not expect. Charles Weston Hotel, 27 Weston St Brunswick.
2015 events –
“The Fractured Self” @ Immigration Museum, Sunday 25th October. Presented by the Melbourne Poets Union, with an emphasis on cross-cultural and bilingual poetry. 2pm start, also featuring Heather Taylor Johnson and other guest poets. Melbourne Immigration Museum, 400 Flinders St Melbourne.
Chamber Poets, Saturday 14th November. Hosted by ginko-master Myron Lynsenko in the heart of Woodend. Also features the John Flaus Reluctant Reader Segment, plus an open section. 2pm to 4pm at the Chamber Art & Coffee House, 90 High St Woodend. Facebook group here.
Dan Poets, Saturday 19th September. Long-running and ever-reliable Saturday afternoon (2pm until 5pm) wild safari of poetry, at the Dan O’Connell Hotel, 225 Canning St Carlton.
Brisbane Writers Festival, 4th to 6th September. Very much looking forward to this. I’ll be appearing at a number of events. More details – check the BWF website.
La Mama Poetica, Tuesday 4th August, 7.30pm (8pm start). Long-running and esteemed poetry salon, featuring myself, Santo Cazzati, Jamie King-Holden & Sista Zai. Carlton Courthouse, 349 Drummond St Carlton. Info and tickets here.
PoetiCas, Saturday 25th July, 2pm. Wonderful new venue for the brilliant Castlemaine poetry reading, which includes an always rich open mic. Food Garden’s Oasis & Conscious Caravan, 14-16 Mostyn St Castlemaine. Facebook Event details here.
Melbourne Poets Union @ Hares & Hyenas, Wednesday 27th May, 7pm. I’m co-featuring with the nuanced insightful Lia Hills, in a fantastic grassroots gig run by MPU and hosted by Mr “Half-Hour Country” Maurice McNamara. 63 Johnston St Fitzroy. $10/9/8 entry. Open mic here too. Facebook event here.
Eltham Courthouse, Thursday 21st May, 7.30pm (8pm start). Monthly reading in the atmospheric Courthouse, hosted by Helen Lucas, with an open mic theme of “Elsewhere”. 728 Main Rd Eltham. $5 entry, includes wine & door prize. Supported by Nillumbik council.
Captured Whispers, Sunday 17th May, 5pm. Black Hole Theatre hosts this exploratory event featuring 5 pairings of puppeteers with poets. One night only! 1000£ Bend Gallery @ 361 Lt Lonsdale Street, Melbourne. $20/15. More details here. Bookings essential – here!
Three Poets & a Book Launch, Wednesday 22nd April, 5.30pm. Myself and two of my favourite poets, Andrew Burke (“One Hour Seeds Another“) and Jane Williams (“Days Like These“), will be reading our poems at Hobart Bookshop, 22 Salamanca Square. This will also be the “Tasmania Launch” for “Immune Systems”.
Tribute reading for Patrick Alexander, Saturday 21st March, 2pm. Myself and Jennifer Harrison will be reading poems by the inestimably brilliant and much-missed gentlepoet Patrick Alexander at Dan Poets, the Dan O’Connell Hotel, cnr Canning & Princes St Carlton.
Launch of “Immune Systems”, Tuesday 17th March, 6pm. Thrilled to be launching my latest collection of poems & ghazals (out through Transit Lounge) at Collected Works Bookshop, Nicholas Building, 1st floor, 37 Swanston St Melbourne. Book will be launched by the brilliant poet and artist Luke Beesley. Facebook event here.
2014 events –
House of Bricks Spoken Word, Wednesday 29th October, 7pm. This monthly poetry night at an artist-run gallery at 40 Budd St Collingwood is hosted by the one and only Santo Cazzati. Features (apart from myself) are Alicia Sometimes, Claire Gaskin and Meaghan Bell. More info about House of Bricks gallery here – and Facebook event here.
Quippings Freaktastic Fringe, Wednesday 1st to Sunday 5th October, 8.15pm (7.45pm on Wed.). As part of the Melbourne Fringe, the regular performance event “Quippings” goes all Freak-esque (“unashamedly different and subversive!”) at the Spiegeltent at 35 Johnston St Collingwood.
Launch of “the thin bridge”, Friday 5th September, 6pm for 6.30pm. Launched by Prof Kevin Brophy, and published by Whitmore Press in a limited (200) run of signed copies. At Collected Works Bookshop, Nicholas Building, 1st floor, 37 Swanston St Melbourne. All welcome!
Poetry for the Soul, Wednesday 27th August, 6.30pm. Hosted by the Carmelite Centre, also featuring Lisa Jacobson, this evening explores spirituality (within or outside of particular traditions) in Australia as it expresses itself in poetry.
Quippings – Saturday 14th June. A short spot at Quippings, a disability and Deaf performance/spoken-word night, held at Hares & Hyenas, 63 Johnston St Fitzroy.
Laneway Words with Bill Moran (USA), Fury and Andy Jackson – Friday 21st March, 8pm, at Toot Fanute, Globe Alley (off Little Bourke) Melbourne. Presented by Melbourne Spoken Word. Bookings essential – here!
2013 events –
Write-ability Morning – Tuesday 3rd December (International Day of Disability), 10am to 1pm at Writers Victoria (Performance Space). New and emerging writers with any disability are invited to join us for the last in a series of free short writing workshops, which includes inspiration, practical ideas, and morning tea. Limited places, so book by emailing Fiona.
Readings @ Red Wheelbarrow Books – Friday 6th December, 8pm at Red Wheelbarrow Books, 105 Lygon St East Brunswick. Other features TBA.
Over the Edge Writers Gathering – Friday 13th September at 8pm, Galway Arts Centre’s Nuns’ Island Theatre. Featuring Andy Jackson & Rachael Guy (performing “Ambiguous Mirrors”), Robyn Rowland, Orla McGovern and more.
Clifden Arts Week – Sunday 22nd September at 3pm. Station House Theatre, Galway Rd Clifden. Featuring Andy Jackson & Rachael Guy (performing “Ambiguous Mirrors”), Robyn Rowland & John Foulcher.
O’Bheal – Monday 30th September at 9pm. Upstairs at The Long Valley, Winthrop St Cork. Featuring Andy Jackson & Rachael Guy (performing “Ambiguous Mirrors”), Robyn Rowland & John Foulcher.
Dan Poets – Saturday August 31st, 2pm at the Dan O’Connell Hotel, cnr Canning & Princes St Carlton.
Strip Fest – Saturday 24th August, 1pm to 4pm, various venues around St Kilda.
Poetry @ the Comma – Sunday 23rd June at 3pm, cnr Hargreaves & Forest St’s Castlemaine. Featuring Andy Jackson & Jennifer Compton, this high-quality monthly reading is hosted by Ross Donlon, and features the hotly-contested “Castlemaine Cup” on the open mic.
Readings @ Red Wheelbarrow – featuring Andy Jackson, Andrew Burke, Aaron Mannion & Monique Kerr – in the back room of one of the best bookshops in Melbourne, 105 Lygon St East Brunswick – Friday 7th June, 8pm.
La Mama Poetica – a night of some of the best spoken word and poetry Melbourne has to offer – the focus is on a blending of approaches to the power of the word – featuring Andy Jackson & Paul Mitchell (featuring in a duo performance), Ray Liversidge, Bronwen Manger & Jacky T – at La Mama Courthouse, 349 Drummond St Carlton, Monday 18th Feb at 8pm.
Bar Stanza – the debut of what promises to be an influential and not-to-be-missed poetry gig, at Owl and the Pussycat, 34 Swan St Richmond – Tuesday Feb 5th at 7.30pm. Also features – Geoff Lemon, Jessica Alice & Tim Hamilton.
2012 events –
Write Around the Murray – this brilliant festival is based in Albury NSW and runs from Wednesday 5th to Sunday 9th September. I’m appearing at various events – including a workshop (book now!) – see the program here.
Words in Winter – Saturday 11th August @ Daylesford. I’ll be reading my own poems as well as a special selection of “covers” – new Australian poetry. 11am at Deb’s Cafe, 16 Albert St. 2.30pm at the Book Barn, 1 Leggatt St (overlooking Daylesford Lake). With support from Australian Poetry.
Travel Ideals – 18th to 20th July @ University of Melbourne. This International Conference investigates creative and interdisciplinary academic responses to travel, tourism, globalisation & the ideal. More information here.
Poetry & Conversation – Sunday, June 17th, 3pm @ Geelong Library, 49 Little Malop St. Free entry. Hosted by Dr Robyn Rowland AO, this event features myself and Lisa Gorton. More details here.
Sweetalkers – Sunday, February 12th, 7.30pm @ Bendigo Hotel, 125 Johnstone St Collingwood. Only $10, for four feature performers/poets – Laura Jean McKay, 1/6, Sophia Dacy-Cole and myself. More details here at Randall Stephen’s blog.