Friday, 21 May 2010

Why Fremantle Poetry Month?

She has either left the world

Or just stepped into it.

– from Barbara Temperton, ‘The Lighthouse Keeper’s Wife’, Southern Edge

For me, Barbara Temperton’s lines contain the essence of what it is a poem does: the poem takes us away from the world we know even as it draws us into a close communion with the world.

In its economy of language, its reliance on the space around the words, and in the way the words draw attention to each other, poetry is an exacting art form. Poetry done well captures the world keenly, and leaves us feeling as if we are able to see more clearly.

Poetry is the written form that is closest to the spoken word. Performing poetry before an audience is a natural thing to do – and a wonderful way to celebrate the texture and movement of this precise but elastic art form.

This year, for the first time, we have designed a program of events to actively celebrate not only our poets, but poetry itself. Our aim is to share and celebrate poetry with many different sections of the community – other writers, readings-goers, library-gatherers, school students and their teachers. And we have invited representatives from the exciting and dynamic writing groups that practise the art form on a regular basis around us – WA Poets Inc, indigo journal, Out of the Asylum Writers Group, Sunline Press – to participate us in this celebration.

In Fremantle Poetry Month we will feature two established poets whose careers have been significantly supported across time by the Press.

John Mateer’s The West is a timely retrospective of twenty years of his Australian poems.

Caroline Caddy’s Burning Bright is an intimate journey that moves between south-west Australia and China.

In New Poets, we introduce Emma Rooksby, Scott-Patrick Mitchell and J.P. Quinton, three talented new poets appearing for the first time in book length form.

Poetry is a concise, vibrant, beautiful way of apprehending the world. Poets are worth celebrating. This month, leave the world with us, and step squarely into it.

Georgia Richter, Poetry Publisher, Fremantle Press


  1. It sounds like Fremantle Press has an amazing lineup of events to celebrate poetry and its creators during the month July. I am curious to know more details about the activities that include library-gatherers, school students and their teachers. Introducing young people to poetry is essential to their development and opens their eyes, ears and minds to all forms of art.

    Nancy J. Rodwan

  2. We also think it’s vitally important for young people to be introduced to poetry. You’ll find details about our professional development seminar for English teachers, and the poetry workshops for young writers here,, where you can also download a booking form. Our Meet the Poets event at the Fremantle Library on Thursday 15 July at 6:00pm will allow the general public (especially library gatherers!) to meet both young, emerging and older, established poets in a reading and Q&A session. More details on this event will be posted in the coming weeks.
    Georgia Richter, Poetry Publisher, Fremantle Press