photo of a bush stone curlew laying flat with their neck down trying to blend into the scrub

Highest Queensland Entry – Val Vallis Award 2020

I am very proud to announce my poem ‘The last tourist’ (for the birds at Tangalooma, Moorgumpin) won Highest Queensland Entry in the 2020 Queensland Poetry Festival Val Vallis Award. Congratulations to first place winner Helen Lucas for ‘Heirloom’ and second place winner Sarah Rice for ‘My Time in Govie Housing Draws to a Close’.

In their comments, judges Judith Beveridge and Kirli Saunders said of ‘The last tourist’:

This poem’s vernacular immediacy, imagistic freshness and perspectives give it an immediate appeal. Tone and voice are used both humorously and incisively to create memorable portraits that reflect both animal and human foibles in an energetic way.

Thank you so much to Queensland Poetry Festival, Arts Queensland and Cordite Poetry Review, and of course to the judges Judith Beveridge and Kirli Saunders for choosing my poem.

Read my poem ‘The last tourist’ (and watch the accompanying video) on the Cordite website.

Read more about the Val Vallis Award here.

Photo by Kerin Gedge on Unsplash.

The text 'Red Dirt Poetry Festival Digital 2020' over the top of a red background

New poem at Red Dirt Poetry Festival

I have a new visual poem called ‘this one room’ at Red Dirt Poetry Festival‘s House of Healing – Poetry First Aid, an exploration of healing in a digital space. Check out the incredible gallery of poets and their poems at the Red Dirt website.

This poem was written during Rico Craig‘s workshop The Everyday Epic through Queensland Poetry Festival, which I’d highly recommend attending. Big thanks to Rico for inspiring so much of ‘this one room’!

let’s play house! let’s mop coffee marks from studio’s length. chew less gum & give our teeth a real good scrub. we can move against or with Time. whatever we want. we can do whatever we want!

photo of a hand with rainbow paint and a heart on the palm

New writing at Pink Advocate

My opinion piece / personal essay “Glorious: On body fluidity and reclamation” is up now at Pink Advocate Magazine!

What even are bodies? And how is it possible for bodies to be both solid and fluid, malleable and enhanceable: created to contain multitudes?

In dark jacket with slicked-back hair, I’m ‘sir’ at the grocery store but a quick reflex to ‘ma’am’ as soon as they notice my lips, plumped swollen from windburn. What if I could be both? What if, beyond ‘both’, I was even more?

Read more on the Pink Advocate website.

Story Bundle for Pride

So proud to have a short story in the Gender Diverse Pronouns issue of Capricious in this Story Bundle, which supports Rainbow Railroad for #PrideMonth 🌈🏳️‍🌈

An aside: the short story in Capricious, ‘Glitter and Leaf Litter’, is the piece I’m developing into a full length YA verse novel, thanks to my Wheeler Centre Hot Desk Fellowship. I love these wonderful non-binary characters so so much 🌈

Green image of many school desks and chairs floating

Wheeler Centre Hot Desk Fellowship

I am the very very proud recipient of a Wheeler Centre Hot Desk Fellowship for 2020!

The Hot Desk Fellowships are supported by the Readings Foundation. Myself, along with 20 other fellows, receive a stipend and workspace. While my workspace is currently in Meanjin due to COVID-19, I’m looking forward to collaborating in an online writing space until I’m perhaps able to work in the Wheeler Centre building.

Who are my fellow Fellowship recipients?

Mama Alto, Alex Creece, Monikka Eliah (playwright fellow), Lou Garcia-Dolnik, Veronica Heritage-Gorrie, Natasha Hertanto, Ruby Hillsmith, Georgia Kartas, Kim Lam, Nellie Le Beau, Leah Muddle, Rashmi Patel, Allee Richards, Ariel Ries, Lobna Rouhani, Vince Ruston, Darlene Silva Soberano, Diane Vu, Dženana Vucic, Panda Wong.

What’s my project about?

I will be working on the redrafting of Welcome Home, a Young Adult speculative fiction verse novel. This story focuses on the lives of two non-binary transgender teenagers, who have a strong and intimate platonic friendship. Welcome Home examines concepts of safe spaces through the lens of an abandoned haunted house (in a fictional Queensland location), which provides a home for young people whose gender identities lead to their exclusion in other spaces. This novel is in a first draft stage, and requires redrafting and formatting into verse – the majority of which I will complete during my Hot Desk Fellowship.

**Read more at the Wheeler Centre website**

Picture of the front cover of a book titled 'the bright and the cold' selected poems of Anne Elder

Anne Elder Award announcement

This year I had the pleasure of judging the Anne Elder Award alongside Gig Ryan and Marcella Polain. Congratulations to the joint winners:

  • Cham Zhi Yi for ‘blur by the’ (Subbed In)
  • Gareth Sion Jenkins for ‘Recipes For The Disaster’ (5 Islands Press)

And to the commended authors:

  • ‘The Empty Show’ by Alice Allan (Rabbit Poets Series)
  • ‘The Things the Mind Sees Happen’ by Belinda Rule (Slow Loris series / Puncher & Wattmann)

**For more info and to read the full judges’ statements, visit the Australian Poetry website**