top of page


 est. 2015

 fully curated annual festival

 based out of the university of canberra

 a celebration of poetry of all nations, cultures & languages

A word from our director 

Founded in 2015, the University of Canberra’s Poetry on the Move is a fully curated festival, run as a major initiative of the Centre for Creative and Cultural Research, Faculty of Arts and Design at the University of Canberra. The CCCR’s objectives through the festival are to promote poetry as a globally valuable art form through the engagement with international, national and local poetry communities.

During what has been an extraordinary and challenging time, many people have turned to poetry for solace and comfort. Poetry also helps to form a sense of community among those who find and make meaning in this way.

This year’s event will be run in the hybrid format which has emerged since social distancing guidelines have imposed varied restrictions at various times. We plan to meet once again in the beautiful venue that is the Gorman House face-to-face for four days in October (14-17). Here, we will be able to engage in poetry at least locally and nationally. However, because of international travelling restrictions, we will also run strands that are entirely online. 

This year’s theme is From the Archives. As I inherited this position from Poetry on the Move’s previous director, Shange Strange, I have had to go about researching poets and their work in order to aid the planning process. In this process, I have been struck by the number of poets who use the archives to create their work. Some of my own poetry projects include extensive use of archives as well, but as that kind of work is usually done alone, it didn’t occur to me how many other poets would be out there solo doing the same sort of work. With this recognition, the question for me becomes how each poet uses the archives to inform relevant contemporary poems. Searching for this answer becomes one thrust of this year’s festival. At the same time, poets use the archives for other reasons as well, and this year is meant to explore and reveal those reasons. Finally, I wonder how the archives preserve poetry. And, of course, as a poet, I wonder about the metaphoric uses of the idea of archive. 

My first thought, months ago, when I heard the theme of this year’s festival was that it might feel restrictive. Now, after doing much preparation for the upcoming months, I find the opposite: it’s expansive. Archives allow for deep questions to be asked and deep dives to be taken in search of answers. This sort of depth opens dialogue, and we’d like you do be a part of it. 

Please join us in any way you can – online or in person. Please bring your own questions and ideas about the archives. Visit our pages, view our recordings, and, if you are able to attend in person, a seat in Gorman House awaits you.

Yours in poetry,

Director, Poetry on the Move

The 2021 Team


Kimberly Williams


Samuel Byrnand

Planning and Support

Katie Hayne

Director CCCR (University of Canberra)

Tracy Ireland

Steering Committee/Curatorial

Cassandra Atherton

Paul Hetherington

Jen Webb

Many thanks to

The office of the Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Research and Innovation, University of Canberra, for funding and supporting the festival

Special thanks to the people who have volunteered time, effort, and ideas to the benefit of the festival

Caren Florence

Kendall Kirkwood

Paul Munden

Shane Strange

Mira Walker

The team @Smith's Alternative

The team @Gorman House

Every one of the wonderful people who have submitted poems, navigated the website, and reached out via social media


bottom of page