Aussies Rule Challenge prompt 14 – Poetry

Hi folks!

I’ve moved this topic up the chain due to a request from JennyM over on Litsy (I’m over there as @Sue as I’m very creative about handles). Feel free to hit me up if you have a specific prompt you would like me to talk about sooner rather than later.

If you’ve spent any time in this country at all you’ve probably been bludgeoned with the poetry of Patterson and Lawson. Poetry is still alive and well in Australia and being produced by a great variety of Australians who are not old white men.

I don’t read a whole lot of poetry, but here are three of my favourites who have produced books recently:

Ellen van Neerven

Van Neerven is a Yumgambeh woman who identifies as queer. She gained some press last year as she was attacked on social media by students after her poem Mango was used on the GCSE. (Who even does that?) One of my highlights of 2017 was accidentally ending up at one of her poetry readings, which included poems from Comfort Food and the new collection she is working on.

Maxine Beneba Clarke

Beneba Clarke was shortlisted for the Stella Prize in 2017 for her remarkable memoir The Hate Race. Her poetry is beautiful and confronting and all the things you want from contemporary Aussie poetry. I follow her on twitter (@slamup) and she will often post poetry there, as well as general fabulousness.

Omar Sakr

Who needs more queer Arab Aussie poetry in their lives apart from me? I can’t remember how I came across Sakr originally, but I’m pretty sure it was due to the magic of twitter. This collection is wonderful.

Here are some other contemporary poets for you to check out:

  • Krissy Kneen
  • Judith Bishop
  • Shastra Deo
  • John Kinsella
  • Stuart Barnes
  • Jordie Albiston
  • Sarah Holland-Batt
  • David Brooks
  • Samuel Wagan Watson
  • M.T.C Cronin

All of these poets and a bunch of others have collections available through UQ Press.

Do you have a favourite contemporary Aussie poet who I haven’t mentioned? Let me know!



  1. Ali Cobby Eckermann is awesome – I’ve read Too Afraid to Cry and Ruby Moonlight.

    Have you done “Classic by an Aboriginal Author”? I’m thinking of re-reading My Place (it’s been a long time), but I’m wondering what else is out there.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you Laura! I didn’t realise Too Afraid to Cry was poetry. I’ll definitely check her out. Funnily enough the “Classic by an Aboriginal Author” is the post I’ve pushed back for this one. I’ll get it up next weekend 😊


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