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    Writers on Campus - How to write a poem

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    Writers on Campus: How to write a poem 

    Poetry is one of the oldest forms of art and storytelling in many cultures, and one of the most vibrant. From the song cycles of Arnhem Land to Sappho to Slam Poetry at your local pub, poetry expresses culture, emotion, ideas, memory, politics – everything – using form, rhythm, sound, image, space, and above all language. Many poets make it look easy, but is it? What makes a poem work? What tools does a poet need in their writer’s toolbox? And for readers, how can we learn to read a poem? 

    This panel of poets and poetry experts will help us unravel these and many other questions. 

    Thomas H. Ford is a Senior Lecturer in English at La Trobe University. He has written extensively on poetry and poetics, including How to Read a Poem and, most recently, Barron Field in New South Wales: The Poetics of Terra Nullius (Melbourne UP, 2023), co-authored with Justin Clemens. 

    Simon West is the author of five collections of poetry, including Prickly Moses, published in the Princeton Series of Contemporary Poets. He is also the author of Dear Muses? Essays in Poetry and the editor and translator of The Selected Poetry of Guido Cavalcanti. He is an adjunct senior research fellow in Italian Studies at La Trobe. 

    Judith Bishop is the 2024 Tracey Banivanua Mar Fellow. She is a poet, linguist and AI researcher in the School of Humanities and Social Sciences. Her second collection, Interval (UQP, 2018), won the NSW Premier’s Literary Awards Kenneth Slessor Prize for Poetry. Her latest collection, Circadia (UQP), is out this month. 

    Host for the panel is Claire Knowles, Head of the Department of Languages and Cultures. Claire’s latest book is Della Cruscan Poetry, Women, and the Fashionable Newspaper (2023). She co-authored a scholarly edition, Charlotte Smith: Major Poetic Works with Ingrid Horrocks (Massey University) and poets such as Charlotte Smith, Susan Evance, Letitia Landon and Elizabeth Barrett Browning were the focus of her book, Sensibility and Female Poetic Tradition, 1780-1860: The Legacy of Charlotte Smith (2009). 

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