Post-pandemic poets

Amanda Anastasi's The Inheritors.

Chamber Poets is back in full swing after successful June and July events and continues to play a key role in supporting poets in the aftermath of the pandemic.

At the next spoken word event on August 13, Tru S Dowling of Bendigo and Amanda Anastasi of Melbourne will converge in Woodend to promote their latest books, which were published during lockdowns.

The two featured writers will be reading from their most recent books, Tru from her gripping, verse novel set in 1940s Castlemaine, Butcher, Baker, His-Story Maker (Birdfish Books, 2020), and Amanda will read her mesmerising, compassionate, futuristic poems about climate change from The Inheritors (Black Pepper, 2021).

Tru Dowling is a performer, emcee, freelance editor, workshop presenter and competition judge, who teaches professional writing and editing at Bendigo Kangan Institute and Victoria University. Her work has been awarded, read widely and published in Australia, the United Kingdom and the United States.

Amanda Anastasi is the current poet in residence at the Monash Climate Change Communication Research Hub, where she writes stories of the climate crisis. She is a two-time recipient of the Ada Cambridge Poetry Prize and convenor of Melbourne’s most prestigious spoken word event, La Mama Poetica.

The Woodend-based band, Black Forest Smoke, will provide musical interludes, showcasing compositions they have written for a forthcoming debut album.

As with each Chamber Poets event, one of the highlights of the afternoon is the opportunity for attendees to read or perform spoken word in the Open Section.

At the July event, Angela Costi, Grant Caldwell and Claire Gaskin entertained the packed Woodend RSL with excerpts from their latest publications. Their performances were punctuated with readings from the Open Section and poems set to music by Black Forest Smoke.

Jenny from Woodend, who attended the event, says of Angela Costi’s poems, “They were exquisite little pictures of the migrant experience, combining both a playful love of the strange new country with a bittersweet nostalgia of what was left behind. Poets are absolutely my favourite people in the universe, and we need more of them!”.

The August event will be held on Saturday the 13th at 1pm at the Woodend RSL. Entry is a donation of $5 or $10 at the discretion of the person attending and the poets’ books will be available for purchase. All are welcome.