Fightin’ Words: Poetry as a Means of Resistance
The celebrated Palestinian poet Mahmoud Darwish once said, ‘every beautiful poem is an act of resistance’. Much of Darwish’s own work addressed themes of exile and displacement.
Poetry sometimes suffers from an undeserved reputation as something abstract, lofty or inaccessible – an art form that deals in metaphysics or dwells in the deeply personal. But politics – whether explicit or implied – have always played a part in poetry. Think: Shelley’s ‘The Masque of Anarchy’, Gil Scott-Heron’s ‘The Revolution Will Not Be Televised’ and many more before and since.
Testing the limits of the form, the poem can be reportage, critique or even violent protest. In a conversation embracing various forms (from classical Arabic to contemporary spoken word), innumerable poetic heroes (from Darwish to C.D. Wright) and various political and personal struggles, four poets will offer their personal perspectives on activism in verse. Can poetry do things, politically, that prose can’t?
Join us for a different kind of conversation about poetry – gloves off, hands dirty.
Karl Lokko’s visit is hosted by Igniting Change.
Jacinta Le Plastrier is a poet, editor, publisher and essayist, and lives in Melbourne. She is also the Chief Executive Officer of the national poetry body in Australia, Australian Poetry, based at the Wheeler Centre.
Dr Samah Sabawi is an award-winning playwright. In 2020 she received a Green Room Award for best writing for her play THEM, also nominated for Best Independent Theatre Ensemble, Best Independent Production and Best Direction, and shortlisted for both the Victorian Premier Literary Awards and the Nic... Read more
Karl Lokko is a 25-year-old former gang leader who has turned his life around and, drawing on the experiences and the extremes of his youth, is now a uniquely powerful activist/influencer in the UK. A poet, musician, writer and public speaker, Karl talks about leadership, inspiration and c... Read more
Ali Cobby Eckermann’s first collections of poetry little bit long time and Kami (2010) both quickly sold out their first print runs. Her verse novel His Father’s Eyes was published by OUP in 2011. Her second verse novel Ruby Moonlight won the inaugural kuril dhagun National Manuscript Ed... Read more
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