To be a poet one needs the six P’s – the pencil, the paper, the perception, the passion, the persistence and the unshakable persuasion that the poem is in fact possible and attainable. - Grace Perry

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Sydney Writers’ Festival: What are you going to see?

I think May is my favorite month of the year. I am always so excited to listen to and meet national and international writers at the Sydney Writers’ Festival. Plus, you can’t forget the books! I work all year just so that I can buy books and get them signed at writers’ festivals.

This year the South Coast Writers Centre (SCWC), in partnership with the Sydney Writers’ Festival will be hosting two excellent literary events. On Sunday the 19th of May, from 1.30-3.30pm, Wollongong’s reoccurring poetry event, Rocket Readings, will kick off the week. This year’s Rocket Readings special guests are Joanne Burns, Peter Lach-Newinsky and Ron Pretty. These three marvelous Australian poets will be reading their poetry, with Ron Pretty sharing some of his poems from his recent writing residency in Rome. These readings will be followed by Rocket Readings’ very successful poetry Open Mic section. All poets are welcome to read in the Rocket Reading Open Mic. The Open Mic will be judged by the special guest poets and will end in the handing over of the official Rocket Cup. Rocket Readings’ host, Linda Godfrey, welcomes everyone to enjoy some fine poetry in the Wollongong City Gallery. The event is free and no bookings are required.

The second event that SCWC will be hosting, in partnership with the Sydney Writers’ Festival, is the annual Celebrating the Voice Indigenous Writers’ Night (CTV). Now in its 13th year, CTV presents a brand new collection of poems, published by SCWC, entitled Dreaming Inside. Dreaming Inside includes writing by Aboriginal inmates at the Junee Correctional Centre. On Thursday the 23rd of May, from 6.30-8.30pm at the Wollongong City Gallery, Aunty Barbara Nicholson, Simon Luckhurst, John Muk Muk Burke and Bruce Pascoe will read excerpts from Dreaming Inside. These four writers tutored the inmates in the art of poetry. These writers will also be reading their own reflections on their experiences working with the inmates, which are expressed through poetry and prose. There will be book sales on the night and free drinks and nibbles. CTV 2013 will be MC’d by Associate Professor Paul Sharrad. CTV is part of the South Coast Writers Centre’s Indigenous Writing program.

This event is presented by South Coast Writers Centre, in association with the Sydney Writers’ Festival and supported by Arts NSW, Wollongong City Council and Wollongong City Gallery. Free, bookings essential, please contact SCWC on 02 4228 0151 or email

For more information on events that are occurring during the Sydney Writers’ Festival please check out the Festival’s website, at, as well as Varuna, the Writers’ House website, for details of the Blue Mountain’s program, at Finally, don’t forget to grab yourself a copy of the Sydney Morning Herald.

This article was first published in Tertangala - UOW's Student Magazine.

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