Language is not a perfect game,
and if it were, how could we play?
The world’s more than the sum of things
like moon, sky, centre, body, bed
Gwen Harwood, poet and librettist
Tasmania’s poetry scene is healthy and vibrant, it is ever-expanding, culturally rich. Annually, it holds its very own poetry festival, which has been running strong for many years. Held in Launceston each October, the Tasmanian Poetry Festival, was founded directed by Tim Thorne since 1985. Come 2003, Cameron Hindrum has been the festival’s director. In 2015, the likes of Ivy Alvarez, Lyndon Walker, Duncan Hose, Caitlin Maling and Ali Cobby Eckermann have been a part of the guest lineup. Supported by the Tasmanian Writers’ Centre, which remains the hub for all things writerly off the mainland, the festival showcases poets hailing from Tasmania as well as poets from other parts of Australia. The Tasmanian Poetry Festival website can be found here, whilst the Tasmanian Writers’ Centre website can be perused over here.
Alongside the writers’ centre and the annual festival, there are regular poetry readings at the Lark Distillery (14 Davey Street, Hobart) – where Hobartians can sit back with a whisky and come together with some of Tasmania’s finest poets, essayists and story-tellers, to share fantasies, anecdotes, tall-tales, and personal histories.
Additionally, there is The Republic Readings’ at the Republic Bar and Cafe (Elizabeth Street, North Hobart), held on the first Sunday afternoon of the month at 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. For further details or to make contact, address The Editor at Poets’ Republic, 9 Grove Rd Glenorchy, Tasmania, Australia. In regards to programs specifically aimed at spoken word performers, there is the monthly event called Silver Words. Held on the last Thursday of each month, Silver Words is a night of spoken word with a smorgasbord of poets, rappers, readers, writers and reciters. The event is hosted by Max Bladel, a vocalist and DJ from Hobart who began rapping at the age of 14.To add your name to the line-up, contact Silver Words on Facebook.
Tasmanian bookshops that support the sales of poetry and hold regular launches include: Fullers Bookshop (in Hobart and in Launceston) frequently holds special readings featuring writers of all genres, and The Hobart Bookshop in Salamanca Square who support book launches.
For information on writers groups in Tasmanian, visit the Tasmanian Writers Centre website.
Society of Women Writers is an important collective that supports workshops, competitions, prizes and events by women writers.
There is also the Fellowship of Australian Writers Tasmania which is a branch of The Fellowship of Australian Writers, founded in 1928. The Fellowship of Australian Writers Tasmania Inc holds seminars conducted by some of Australia’s top literary professionals in every aspect of creative writing – poetry, short-story writing, script writing, novels and children’s literature. FAW Tasmania Inc holds regular monthly meetings where members have an opportunity to share or critique work. There is often a guest speaker. For more info on FAW and to keep up to dates with their events and programs, go here.
There are many thriving literary publications in Tasmania. Island magazine is a great place to start to get your regular dose of ideas, writing and culture. Forty South Publishing is Tasmania’s biggest publishing house, publishing poetry, non-fiction, children’s books and fiction. Walleah Press is an independent poetry publisher also based in Tasmania.
There are many literary prizes that support the valuable work of writers, poets, playwrights, novelists and non-fiction writers. Have a browse here on the Tasmanian Arts website to stay up to date.
If you believe we’ve missed something important in your state or territory, feel free to let us know at firstname.lastname@example.org.