The power of the poem

POETS from around the world will be in town for the launch of the 15th Perth Poetry Festival next Friday (August 9).

The two-week festival includes slam and anti-slam poetry, wellness poetry and a host of fascinating workshops.

South Fremantle poet Carolyn Abbs will do readings from her new collection The Tiny Museums, which flits between her childhood in the UK and her adult years in Australia.

• Natalie D-Napoleon.

The poems are poignant, sad and humorous, and the title was inspired by her unmarried grandmother hiding in a tiny room until she gave birth to Abbs’ father.

“After the birth she was sent away.”

In The Boy From the Grammar School, a 14-year-old Abbs is marched to the hairdressers after bleaching her hair peroxide blonde.

Sudanese-Australian poet Afeif Ismail and political activist Vivienne Glance will hold a workshop on writing poems about power and activism, social justice, climate catastrophe, inclusivity, peace and non-violence.

• Fremantle poet Carolyn Abbs. Photo byJenny D’Anger

Guest poet Natalie D-Napoleon is flying in from the US, but originally hails from Fremantle and is also a singer/songwriter.

Melbournian Peter Bakowski has been writing award-winning poetry for 36 years, and has been writer-in-residence in Paris, Rome and Macau.

Melinda Smith is the former poetry editor of The Canberra Times and has penned six poetry books and won the 2014 Prime Minister’s Literary Award.

There will be a number of WA poets at the festival including Dean Meredith, Shey Marque and Ann Gilchrist.

The festival will be held in venues across Perth and Fremantle from August 9-14. For details go to


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