Here's our recommended reading lists
Poetry for these times and all times
Poetry can be edgy, important and helpful in times of crisis. It offers new images to displace cliches, tools to break up old ideas that loop around in the same old ways. Poetry can take us to another place and offer oblique insights into the extraordinariness of ordinary moments. It connects us emotionally, take us beyond ourselves. It might bring solace but it will also bring surprises, shake us up, call us to account. The fragmented forms of poetry seem to be just the right size and space for these times. Approach a book of poetry like a divining rod – let it fall open anywhere and trust that something will speak back to you. Try this sampler of new Australian poetry, in any particular order. Read the poems out aloud.
A multilingual collection of poetry by First Nations Australian poets commissioned by Red Room Poetry.
A deeper dive into the work of an important contemporary Aboriginal Australian poet. More coming soon.
An overview of the work of the most generous and precise contemporary poets in this country.
An sharp-tongued collection that documents damage produced by racism and capitalism in contemporary Australia.
A poetic engagement with place, memory, history and culture that is anchored in Melbourne’s Royal Park.
Another iconic place, Heide Museum of Art, explored by this chronicler of life in Melbourne.
Now we are by the sea, and exploring relationships bound and linked to the sea, in this lyrical collection.
Smart, surreal and concise rearrangements of everyday life.
Updated to encompass the robust and lifelong contribution of this major Australian poet.
This dynamic, queer, far-too-young feminist performance poet passed away in the year this collection was published.
Everyone who became addicted, as I did, to these spacious and sharp weekly portraits in ‘The Saturday Paper’ will be thrilled with this collection.
Hip hop song lyrics and poems from First Nations young people from around Australia, a project from Desert Pea Media with accompanying Spotify and YouTube playlists.
Not strictly a poetry collection but a guidebook to developing performance poetry co-authored by slam poet and originator of Word Travels, and an award-winning Sydney high school teacher.
List compiled by Susanne Gannon
Associate Professor, School of Education, Western Sydney University
WestWords Board of Directors