You want to see Black writers as noble 

‘n’ doing it for love?

In whose interest would that be? 

Mine? Or the white publishers above?



Roberta Sykes, activist, academic, poet, journalist

The city of Brisbane is beaming with poetic activity and new projects which support the growing vitality of literary culture in Queensland.

The Queensland Poetry Festival, held annually, presents projects such as The Arts Queensland Poet in Residence Program and Val Vallis Award for an Unpublished Poem.

The annual Brisbane Writers Festival is a fantastic jam-packed festival with diverse programming, accessible to the seasoned reader but also relevant to practising writers across a variety of mediums. Brisbane Writers Festival partners with Brisbane, Logan and Ipswich City Councils to present free author events across southeast Queensland, which is a side project called BWF In The ‘Burbs. This shows effort to make the festival stretch further and farther than just its cosmopolitan audience, and create links within the writing community which transgress intimate geography.

Queensland is also home to the Indigenous Writing Fellowship, which is made possible by the State Library of Queensland and blak&write!, a national project to foster a significant Indigenous writing community in Australia. Launched by author Boori Monty Pryor and actor Ernie Dingo at the 2010 Cairns Indigenous Arts Fair, blak&write! is a bold, inspiring project designed to nurture talent, flex the creative imagination and change the landscape of Indigenous writing in Australia. It offers Indigenous Fellowships as well as Editing Internships.

The Brotherhood of The Wordless are a prominent group of writers and poets with assorted disabilities. Established in 2003, the group performs regularly at festivals and venues around the world, has published an anthology of selected work, and provides an important community for its participants.

Queensland also boasts an active performance and spoken word scene:

  • Australian Slam Poetry holds workshops and heats at various locations across the city
  • SpeedPoets is a group that supports and promotes poetry and poets in the cosmopolitan area. They meet at 15 Gladstone Road Highgate Hill. A gig is held on the last Saturday of the month, which runs from March to November each year. Each month there is open mic, a feature poet and singer/songwriter, a mini-feature by the Call Back Poet, free zines and other giveaways. The gig runs from 2pm to 5pm and entry is a donation.
  • To stay further connected with ongoings in Brisbane’s poetry scene and for current events, also follow Brisbane Poetry Circle’s Facebook page.
  • The Brisbane Poetry Circle hosts a reading called Couplets at Brisbane Square Library, 266 George St Brisbane.

With a rich history of poetry culture and poets, Old Qld Poetry is a site that supports Queensland poetry, and to Queensland poets who flourished between 1859 and 1959.

Community writers’ groups based in Queensland include Society of Women Writers QLD, Bush Curlews, Carindale Writers’ Group, and the Fairfield Writers Group.

If you believe we’ve missed something important in your state, feel free to let us know at communications@australianpoetry.org.