Ever wondered if there’s such a thing as women’s poetry, feminist poetry, or a poetic sensibility that’s recognisably feminine? Or if the incredible talent of Toni Morrison, Margaret Atwood, Sylvia Plath, or Oodgeroo Noonuccal might never have been discovered because they weren’t men? Is there a woman poet you love that is anti-feminist? Can the poetry be good if the gender politics are not? Is poetry more culturally diverse than other artistic genres? Why are so many gatekeepers of poetry not only male but boorishly hard on women poets?

These questions and more come to mind when I consider the incredible artform that gave us the gift of lyrics, predates the novel, and has played a big part in the narrativisation of love down the centuries. How do women fit into this incredibly complex and elastic genre? Is there a gender split when we look at written poetry, spoken word, slams and MCing? We know that women are so well-represented in the world of poetry, but are they being supported?

I don’t know about you but I could do with more poetry in my life. I think about it all the time, and I hear it, but I don’t read it as much as I like, and I haven’t written it for an age. It’s so important and overlooked! So first out of the gates this year at a brand new venue, I’ll be hosting Feminism and Poetry with a lineup of absolute superstars.


TARIRO MAVONDO: actor, performer, poet, feminist

EMILIE ZOEY BAKER: poet, slam champion, teacher, feminist

JESSICA ALICE: broadcaster, poet, writer, feminist

And as an added bonus we’ll have special guest performances from Matthew James and Sean M Whelan.

I can’t wait to welcome these amazing poets and thinkers to the CLF stage, and to share the new venue with you all. It’s fully wheelchair accessible, and that’s taken nearly a year to secure, so we’re thrilled. There is also big news on the ticketing front for CLF and you can find more details at the brand new site under Tickets.

Tuesday 4 February 2014
Duke of Wellington Level One
Corner Russell & Flinders Streets, Melbourne
7-9pm, full kitchen open until 11pm
$20 on the door/$15 presales online
Accessible venue, parking at Fed Square, babies welcome

Can’t wait to kick off another year of fierce feminist goodness with y’all.

Karen x