3 August 2018

Meet the young poets of Toolkits: Poetry!

We’re stoked to be kicking off Toolkits: Poetry with 8 talented young poets from across Australia, participating in Toolkits: Poetry. In just the third year of the Toolkits program, we received many applications, making the selection process a difficult one. For 12 weeks, these young poets will explore the histories, language and the changing face of poetry, and be challenged to engage with the art form in unique and different ways. The program also covers writing poetry in the digital age, experimental poetry, poetry as a tool to rewrite histories of misrepresentation, writing the self, and how to edit your work for publication.

Toolkits: Poetry will be facilitated by Melody Paloma, an established poet, editor and critic living in Naarm (Melbourne), and author of In Some Ways Dingo (Rabbit). Melody will facilitate the programs online sessions and workshops, providing one-on-one mentorship and individualised feedback to each young writer. For more information on our Toolkits and Toolkits: Live program (which you can participate in very soon!) visit our website. But for now, say hello to the class of 2018!

Anita Solak, 21, Melbourne

Anita Solak is a Melbourne based writer of poetry, fiction and memoir. She participated in student exchange at the University of Birmingham in 2016 and completed a Bachelor of Creative Writing at RMIT in 2017. In the UK she was welcomed by a passionate community of poets in the Writers Bloc Society of UOB. As a member of the society she attended several literary events and performed her poetry at Grizzly Pear and Howl spoken word nights. Her poetry has been published in e[strange]d, phantasmagoria and The Journal by Writers Bloc UOB. She is fascinated by prosody, place, community and the unsettling. Her mother tongue is Serbian but now she struggles to retain the language. Anita is honoured to be participating in Toolkits: Poetry and grateful for the opportunity to read, learn, and create alongside fellow poets. Throughout the program she hopes to learn how to write with efficiency, power and clarity. She wants to expand her understanding of what poetry can be and do. She will strive to stretch herself past hesitations and develop faith in her ability to create and engage with poetry. Anita is on Twitter @anita_solak and on Instagram @pastpredisposedpoet.

Alex Creece, 24, Geelong

Alex Creece is a land mammal located in Victoria, Australia. She studies Arts at Monash University, and loves bizarro worlds, craft projects, and brave literature. Alex is passionate about diverse voices and perspectives within the arts, and often incorporates her experiences as a queer and neurodivergent woman in her pieces. She has been published in Scum Mag, Five2One, Dear Damsels, and others. More information and her written pieces can be found atcreecedpaper.com/works, or you can summon her through Twitter @roguedyke.

Dzenana Vucic, 27, QLD

Dzenana Vucic is a 27-year-old Bosnian-Australian writer, editor and critic usually based in Melbourne though currently living in the thirty-people-strong village of Trusina in Bosnia. She copyedits for The Lifted Brow and Brow Books, among others, reads poetry for Overland and was Associate Editor for Arts, Culture and Books at In Review. This year she managed TLB/RMIT Experimental Nonfiction Prize and she has been published in In Review, Film Focus, Dialect, Lip Magazine, Kindling II and Junkee.com.  Her creative work and essays predominantly focus on feminism and sexual politics, however she is currently attempting to parse her refugee experience, history/myth/memory making and un/belonging through poetry and memoir. She occasionally tweets at @dzenanavucic

Jonno Revanche, NSW

Although I’ve been reading poetry (and writing) for a number of years, developing and showing my poetic work in a public forum fills me with dread! Discovering the words of Ocean Vuong, Anne Carson, Hera Lindsay Bird, Saeed Jones, Morgan Parker, Richard Siken, as well as literary legends like Adrienne Rich and Audre Lorde, drew me in and helped me become more engaged with poetry as a form. I feel excited about swimming into unfamiliar waters after being so formulaic and fundamentalist with my non-fiction writing for so long. I’m mostly interested in writing about internal worlds, escapism, marginal sub-cultures and arch-types, the power of self-mythology and isolation, about non-binary actualities non-romantic queer relationships, about multiplicitous selves and being too glamorous for this world……….in the past I’ve had my poetic work featured in sleepover club initiative publication, lor journal, ibis house and overland, and in the future I’d ideally like to put together a collection about fear, masculinity, and cultural hybridity. The way I was raised didn’t really allow for me to take on an approach to writing that wasn’t totally orthodox and utilitarian and I’m trying hard to push against that and open up new pathways for myself!

Magda Hughes, 27, VIC

Magda Hughes is a Melbourne writer whose poems have been published in Slink Chunk Press, Tenderness Journal and Marathon. Her work weaves poetic memoir and narratives of the human shape through connections to physical place. Magda holds a bachelor degree in Psychology and works as a lawyer in the community and public sectors. Her social commentary has been published by The Guardian and Junkee and she regularly reads new creative work at Spoken Text and Voices In The Attic. Through Toolkits, Magda will experiment with poetic form and structure, hone her editing process and network with other writers.

Patrick Kain, 19, Boorloo (Perth)

Patrick is an emerging multidisciplinary artist who works in poetry, creative writing, theatre- making, performance, and visual arts. Patrick is driven to make work which fosters empathy and reflection in his readers/audience/viewers, particularly as these relate to working towards justice for marginalised citizens. Patrick has been writing and performing poetry, and also developing his writing and performing style over the past two years, and his favourite types of writing are very raw and honest works which sink their teeth deep into truths of struggle, resistance, and beauty. Recently, he has been drawing inspiration from the frankness of Reni Eddo-Lodge, the directional choices of Xavier Dolan, the ardour of Nina Simone, the gratitude of his friend Phoebe, the absurdity of suburbia, and the strength of the Women of Colour in his life, especially his Amma (Mum). Patrick experiences much inaccessibility as a disabled emerging artist, and he is overjoyed to be participating in a program as dense as Toolkits: Poetry which also suits his learning and working needs very well. He is keen to build his capacity and grow his voice as a poet, as well as establish his writing career on stronger foundations, through the program.

Panda Wong, 25, VIC

I write, work and live on the unceded, stolen land of the Kulin nation as an uninvited settler. As a fragile baby poet who has just started writing poetry in the last ten months, I have finally found a medium to traverse both my obsessions (my mum, The Daily Mail, Rihanna, Love Island UK) and the many intensities of living this world. I am truly excited to connect with the other Toolkits: Poetry participants and to see poetry in multiple lights. I tweet (infrequently) & instagram (frequently) @queensuperchill.

Stella Maynard, 21, Gadigal land, in so-called Sydney

Stella Maynard is 21-year-old baby-writer based on Gadigal land, in so-called Sydney. They’re currently finishing a degree at the University of New South Wales (Indigenous Studies / Art History & Theory), and are interested in attending to things that sit at the intersection of gender, queerness, technology, the law and desire. In Toolkits: Poetry they’re excited to share with a small community of poets, and develop the confidence to write in more interior and lyrical registers. As someone who hates Malcolm Turnbull but loves Amelia Dale’s CONSTITUTION, they are especially excited for the workshop on Experimental Book Objects. You can find them (occasionally) tweeting at @rata2ouille.