Welcome to Poetry on the Move

Dear Poets and Poetry Lovers,

During what has been an extraordinary and challenging year, many people have increasingly turned to poetry: for solace and comfort, for a reminder of lasting values, and to find a sense of community among those who treasure poetry as much as we do at the Poetry on the Move festival.

One of the remarkable innovations in this era of social distancing has been to see the ways in which the global poetry community has utilised the online environment to keep poetry ‘alive’. This has spawned a number of projects and connections across the globe, not only responding to our contemporary moment but reminding us that poetry ‘speaks’ eloquently when it is needed.

Although Australia now appears to be returning to some form of ‘new normal’, we have decided to run Poetry on the Move as an online festival in 2020. It will be launched on 1 June 2020 and will run through to November 2020 via the Poetry on the Move website.

We have asked some old and new friends of the festival to help contribute to our online offerings, including three online poets-in-residence in Vahni Capildeo (Trinidad/UK); Yeow Kai Chai (Singapore); and Lisa Brockwell (Australia). They'll be submitting monthly articles from their parts of the world which you can read in our ‘Dispatches’ column.

There will also be a series of free online poetry workshops through September, October and November run by poets Owen Bullock, Subhash Jaireth, Lucy Alexander and Melinda Smith.

We have asked a number of poets from festivals past (and future) to contribute to the project, ‘Well-known Corners’, which aims to chart people’s relationships with the idea of home during this period through a series of video readings of new work. These readings will be posted monthly.

And, if you feel like reliving the highlights of last year's Poetry on the Move festival, a series of new episodes of the Poetry on the Move podcast will be ready for your listening pleasure.

We will also be working with the Australian Poetry organisation in July to help launch their latest anthology featuring Canberra poetry, edited by Melinda Smith.

If you miss your fix of live readings, then I can highly recommend tuning in to ‘That Poetry Zoom’—the online version of a Canberra-based reading with feature poets and an open mic, every Monday evening from 6.30pm (AEST).

While the festival is on, we’ll be posting this newsletter on a monthly basis to remind you what’s happening on the festival front as well as posting regularly through our social media platforms. We hope to be connecting with other online events through the festival period.

Please sign up to our mailing list at, or follow us on Facebook (@poetryonthemovefestival), Twitter (@Poetryonthemove), or Instagram (poetryonthemove) for updates on more Poetry on the Move news.

Please stay safe, and we wish the best to you and yours.

Warm regards

Shane Strange

Festival Director,

Poetry on the Move festival

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