Queensland Poetry Festival Inc (QPF) is an independent festival and arts organisation, which exists to support, cultivate, and promote a vibrant poetry and spoken word culture in Queensland, as well as Australia and beyond. It has operated in its current form as an incorporated entity since 2007.
QPF aims to inspire, entertain, challenge, and embrace the wide possibility of poetic expression in all of its forms – page poetry, readings, slam, spoken word, performance, music, ekphrastic poetry, collaborations, installations, cross-platform creations, film, and more – to a wide audience. QPF is the flagship poetry and spoken word festival in the country, and an important part of Australia’s annual literary calendar, with an established reputation for excellence and innovation amongst audience, artists and industry worldwide.
With an annual four-day festival plus satellite events held in the last week in August, QPF also curates and administers the following signature projects: Arts Queensland Poetry Awards, Arts Queensland Poet in Residence Program, Indigenous Poet in Residence, Brisbane Poetry Map, SlammED! Schools program, Queensland Heats & Final of the Australian Poetry Slam, and regional tours & events.
QPF partners with various organisations and individuals throughout the year to host a year-long program of launches, workshops, and other events, including the Riverbend Poetry Series and Couplet at Brisbane Square Library which is held on the first Friday every month.
Anne-Marie Te Whiu, Festival Co-Director
Anne-Marie Te Whiu is a Brisbane born and bred cultural producer who has worked for organisations such as Woodford Folk Festival, Zillmere Multicultural Festival, BEMAC, Judith Wright Centre of Contemporary Arts, Museum of Brisbane and State Library of Queensland over the past twelve years. She is a keen creative-arts collaborator and values the breadth and diversity of talent within her home town which culminated in Anne-Marie creating and directing The Home Festival.
David Stavanger, Festival Co-Director
David Stavanger is a poet, writer, and cultural producer who has been an active part of the Brisbane poetry & arts community for the past ten years. In 2013 he won the Arts Queensland Thomas Shapcott Poetry Award, resulting in the release of The Special (UQP), his first full-length collection of poetry which also won The Wesley Michel Wright Prize 2015. David is also known as Green Room-nominated spoken word artist Ghostboy, and established the thriving Queensland poetry slam scene via his program & producer work with the State Library of Queensland and Woodford Folk Festival.
Simon Kindt, SlammED! Project Officer
Simon Kindt is a Brisbane poet & teacher who is working on building a youth spoken-word community in Queensland. In collaboration with Chloe Callistemon, he published the collection air / tide in 2014, he published the verse novella no revelation in 2015 and, along with Bill Moran, is co-author of the recently released wreck / age.
In 2017 QPF moved to a new model of programming, with more curatorial artist invitations whilst still maintaining an open Expressions of Interest (EOI) process. QPF now engages volunteer Program Advisors to independently assess all EOI’s, as well as making program and artist suggestions. This year’s Program Advisors were poets Matt Hetherington, Rebecca Jessen, Stuart Barnes (Tincture Poetry Editor), Ellen van Neervan, and Eleanor Jackson (Peril Magazine & Stella Prize Board Member.)
Carmel Macmillan, Chair
Carmel is a Non-Executive Director, a Marketing and Business strategist specialist and Principal of CM Strategy Consulting. As a Graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors, Carmel is a member of MS QLD’s Board and is Chair of their Philanthropic Relations Committee and a Director on their Services Committee. She also is a member of two sub committees of the Board for The Mater Foundation. Carmel holds directorship roles for two commercial organisations – Lagberry Pty Ltd and Piovesan Pty Ltd.
Gerard Healy, Treasurer
Gerard has been involved in the arts for many years. He performed in a number of plays for the Sunnybank Theatre Company and the Taylor Street Theatre Company. Gerard was Treasurer for the Victorian based Arena Theatre Company and is currently the Treasurer for Clocked Out which is a music ensemble dedicated to contemporary music. Gerard is also the Finance Manager for School of Agriculture and Food Sciences at the University of Queensland.
Jessica Bland, Secretary
Jessica is a lawyer in a national commercial law firm, practising in litigation and dispute resolution. She advises and acts for clients in a number of industries and in relation to a broad range of legal issues. She is passionate about literature and the arts, and, in addition to her law degree, holds a Bachelor of Arts majoring in English literature and history.’
Anna MacGillivray, Director
Anna is a lawyer with more than 20 years experience in national and international commercial firms. She has extensive experience in legal risk management, particularly working to help lawyers communicate more effectively and practice more efficiently. She is a sessional academic with the Law Schools at QUT and UQ and is passionate about language and community arts.
Katherine Webber, Director
Katherine Webber is a practitioner in social planning and community development. Katherine has worked with a range of government and non-government programs in Australia and the Pacific to improve social inclusion, gender equality and community safety. Katherine is passionate about the arts and how it can foster dialogue and support inclusive communities.
Dr Kelli McGraw, Director
Dr Kelli McGraw is a Lecturer in the Faculty of Education at QUT. Currently teaching secondary English curriculum, her prior experience includes teaching high school English and debating in Southwest Sydney, NSW. Kelli researches the fields of secondary school curriculum, teacher identity, digital literacy and children’s literature, presently focusing on the use of project based learning in secondary English. She is the Vice President of the English Teachers Association of Queensland.
Jody Currie, Director
Jody Currie is the CEO of ATSICHS Brisbane. She has a Bachelor of Arts degree in International Relations and Gender Studies. Queensland-born, Jody is a Yugambeh person with traditional ties to the country between the Logan and Tweed Rivers. She has an extensive career in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander human service delivery and is an advocate for improving service accessibility to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. Her extensive career includes employment with the Queensland Aboriginal and Islander Health Council, Apunipima Cape York Health Council and the Queensland Aboriginal. Torres Strait Islander Human Services Coalition, and Urban Indigenous Health, as well as extensive board experience including 98.9FM.
Lucas makes theatre and performance work. His work with The Escapists includes the multi-award winning boy girl wall (for which he received a Helpmann Award nomination for best actor.) Lucas has worked nationally and internationally as a performer, and his credits include Bell Shakespeare, Queensland Theatre Company, The State Theatre Company of South Australia, and Melbourne Theatre Company. Lucas was the Artistic Director of the Festival of Australian Student Theatre (2014-2015), is a member of the Queensland Theatre National Artistic Team and an Arts Queensland and Australia Council Peer. He has been the proud recipient of the Jean Trundle Memorial Bursary, The Brian Boak Bursary and a NIDA Fellowship. Lucas has served on the board of Backbone, Youth Arts as well as on the Artistic Advisory committee for Metro Arts, has done strategic planning for Brisbane Powerhouse and is on the National Artistic Team for Queensland Theatre.