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Pump up the volume – the Queensland Poetry Festival brings distant voices to the forefront

Pump up the volume – the Queensland Poetry Festival brings distant voices to the forefront

Your voice is one of the most powerful tools you have at your disposal. We’re not just talking about the literal sense of when some cords in your throat rub together and sound comes out – it’s about the larger scope of your identity and what makes you unique. We all have different ways of expressing our true voice but undoubtedly one of the most raw and powerful forms of this is poetry in its many and varied forms. Coming into its 21st year, the Queensland Poetry Festival will sweep the Judith Wright Centre of Contemporary Arts as well as a host of other exciting satellite venues with its most ambitious offering to date, celebrating the chorus of inspiring voices in our global community.


If you’ve never partaken in the goodness that is the Queensland Poetry Festival, allow us to let you in on a secret – this event will blow any preconceptions that you have about the world of poetry right out of the water. The festival has been redefining the art form since its inception and this year continues on that trajectory, featuring a program made up of slam poets, live music, panels, workshops, visual art installations, spoken word, film screenings, performance art, comedy and even an inaugural poetry Publishers and Zine Fair. This year’s theme of ‘distant voices’ also aims to shine a light on First Nation, refugee, and culturally and linguistically diverse poets and performers from across Australia and the globe, bringing their ever-important work front and centre.

The line-up for this year’s Queensland Poetry Festival is jam-packed with diverse voices, featuring a host of talent from both home and abroad. It’s all killer and no filler but there are some events just too good to miss – the QPF2017 Literary Cabaret featuring poetic heavy-hitters Mark Doty, Maxine Beneba Clarke, Omar Musa and more, a one-off appearance from living legend and all-around national treasure Michael Leunig, the Travelling Light show paying tribute to Leonard Cohen and even a late-night queer literary salon. This year also celebrates the future of poetry with Viral Verse, spotlighting online poetry stars such as Hera Lindsay Bird and Patricia Lockwood. Joining the fold of amazing voices are this year’s poets in residence Joy Hario, Courtney Sina Meredith and Ali Cobby Eckerman, all sharing a serious swag of awards and industry praise.

This is just a small sample of what’s on offer during the Queensland Poetry Festival – for full line-up details and to scope ticketed sessions, head to the official website.

To find out more about what’s on in Brisbane, head to our Event Guide.



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Steven Oliver

Steven Oliver

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