I have read a few 'best of' lists for Sydney Writers' Festival events, but none (that I have seen) focus on poetry. In fact, few include poetry events at all. Which, I guess, is understandable. For Australians of a certain age (mine), the chance to hear Molly Ringwald both talk and sing is bound to block out any other things happening.
Anyway, in an attempt to right the balance, here are the poetry events I am going to try to attend.
Rare Objects Series Launch - Thursday 23 May 10 am
Luke Davies will launch a selection of chapbooks from Australian poets, including David Malouf.
Anis Mojgani - Thursday 23 May 6.30 pm at UNSW
Anis will be performing a solo show at UNSW. I believe it is already booked out (it is a free event), but I have my ticket! There is a waiting list.
Celebrating the Voice Writers' Night - Thursday 23 May 6.30 pm in Wollongong
This regular Sydney Writers' Festival event will launch a collection of poetry written by indigenous inmates at the Junee Correctional Centre. This is sure to be challenging and diverse writing.
Dermot Healy with Luke Davies - Friday 24 May 2.30 pm
Luke Davies' Interferon Psalms was the most challenging book I read last year. During this event, he interviews Irish writer Dermot Healy.
Words and Music - Saturday 25 May 10 am
Facilitated by Luke Davies and featuring musicians, poets and an ABC radio host - Kate Miller-Heidke, Jeff Lang, Kate Fagan and Andrew Ford - this combines two of my loves: music and poetry. And according to Twitter, Kate Miller-Heidke appreciates the poetry of my predecessor as Australian Poetry Slam champion Omar Musa. Twice the reason to hear her speak about the intersection of music and words.
Marathon Poetry Reading - Saturday 25 May 4 pm
This event will mirror somewhat the Spoken Four event from the Friday night Festival Club, instead this time showcasing the written form of poetry. Eight poets from a variety of backgrounds and countries will present their work.
While I am posting links to events, I should say that the Sydney Writers' Festival online program is one of the best I have ever seen. If you doubt my suggestions, just checkout swf.org.au. You can browse by day, author, genre or venue.
Some other lists:
ABC's coverage and participation in the festival