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Raw Salt Poetry Book Launch and Open Mic

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Event description

Join local poet Izzy Roberts-Orr to celebrate the launch of her debut poetry collection, Raw Salt, published by Vagabond Press. Hear Izzy in conversation with local author and herbalist Caroline Parker, plus poetry performances by Izzy and guest poets Manisha Anjali (Naag Mountain, Giramondo) and Sam Morley (Earshot, Puncher & Wattman, You Do You, Upswell). Following the guest speakers, get up on the open mic and share your own poetry for the chance to take home book, wine and tea prizes!

About Raw Salt
Raw Salt is a powerful debut. It offers its readers much in the way of elegiac work, which holds itself apart, always, from falling into the traps of the purely confessional. - ★★★★☆ Book review: Raw Salt, Izzy Roberts-Orr, by Ellie Fisher in ArtsHub

Awarded a Wheeler Centre Hot Desk Fellowship, Bundanon Residency and longlisted for the Colorado Prize for Poetry, Raw Salt explores contemporary elegy and writing the environment—excavating and engaging death and its aftermath, lineages both ancestral and intellectual. Responding to the sudden death of Roberts-Orr's father a decade ago, Raw Salt is a work of mourning and memory, healing and consilience. The collection is raw with lived experience, the complex history and inheritance we each receive with the death of a parent.

The ongoing presence of her father, a horticulturalist, shines through Roberts-Orr's deep attention to the natural world, rendered in poems of extraordinary clarity and precision, offering a kind of healing we might all attend. A complex and deeply human work, this debut collection explores with nuance and generosity the darker undercurrents, the cycles of growth, decay and destruction, sustaining us and the ecosystems from which we have evolved and, as with the departed, are always a part. Izzy Roberts-Orr's Raw Salt introduces a remarkable new voice to Australian poetry.

The work of Raw Salt is attentive to the flow and forms of mourning. These poems sit with what keeps us from sleep as they score the music of endurance. These are achy, tender, formally expansive poems that set out from a child’s loss of her father to situate human loss and gain amidst the more-than-human world. Raw Salt is remarkable for its range, courage, raillery and vitality. - Felicity Plunkett

About the artists

Izzy Roberts-Orr is a poet, writer, broadcaster and arts worker based on Wurundjeri Woi Wurrung and Dja Dja Wurrung Country, in Barrys Reef. Izzy is Creative Producer for Red Room Poetry and a 2020-2022 recipient of the Australia Council Marten Bequest Scholarship for Poetry. Her debut poetry collection, Raw Salt, is published by Vagabond Press, and was the recipient of a Bundanon Artist Residency, Wheeler Centre Hot Desk Fellowship and Shortlisted for the Colorado Prize for Poetry. Check out her website here.

Caroline Parker, aka The Cottage Herbalist, is a degree qualified herbalist, farmer, forager and facilitator. She creates award-winning teas and tisanes from her home based studio in the Wombat Forest, and shares her love of herbs and foraging through workshops and her forthcoming book published by Thames & Hudson, The Medicinal Garden. Check out her website here.

Manisha Anjali (b. Suva, Fiji) is a writer, artist and teacher. She is the author of Naag Mountain, recently published by Giramondo. Manisha is the founder of Neptune, a research and documentation platform for dreams, visions and hallucinations. She is one half of Whelk, a music collaboration with multi-instrumentalist Genevieve Fry. Check out her website here.

Sam Morley has been published in various journals and has been shortlisted in the Montreal International Poetry Prize. He was the 2022 recipient of the Tina Kane Emergent Writer Award at the Mildura Writer’s Festival. His collections include Earshot (Puncher and Wattmann) and You Do You, out now through Upswell.


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