QLD Poetry Festival: introducing a.rawlings

The Queensland Poetry Festival runs from 24 to 26 August 2012. This year, I’d like to introduce you to Arts QLD Poet-in-Residence, the Canadian poet, sonic art-maker and multidisciplinary artist a.rawlings.

During her residency in Queensland angela rawlings (known as a.rawlings) will be harvesting sound from the local environment for a project called Sound Poetry and Visual Poetry. rawlings has presented and/or published work in Canada, Belgium, France, Iceland, Australia, Germany, The Netherlands, and the United States. Her poetry has been translated into Dutch, French, Icelandic, Korean, and Spanish. Her book Wide slumber for lepidopterists is in its third print run. She is currently living in Iceland, and is the Artistic Director of the International Poetry Festival.

The work a.rawlings is sharing with LiteraryMinded readers is called “Ljósaljóð: Marta á Góðafoss”, part of her Sound Poetry and Visual Poetry project, from the “Island” suite. She says: ‘This poem surveys the many ecosystem components visible in a rural fjörd of northern Iceland. Vocals provided by Marta Guðrún Jóhannesdóttir. During my poetry residency here, I’ll develop a Queensland suite for Sound Poetry and Visual Poetry.’

Listen to it here.

a.rawlings on:

the poetic life

What parts of the body do we use when we write? This question proffers a bevy of responses: musculature and skeletal system hold the body in position during composition, historical and active senses pull environmental stimuli into a text’s existence, and organs function to support the body’s activity. We need to be alive in order to write. Bodies embody, embroider poetry. Vice, visceral, versa.


Release the pelvic floor. Blossom open the anus, perineum, vagina. Yawn. Laugh. Sob. Sigh. Sign.

sound + vision

Most languages have a sonic component (through speech) and a visual component (through text). These components, along with movement, comprise the sensual materialities of a language. Where emphasis is often placed on the semantic (or meaning-based) content of a language, I’ve been keen to focus on these extrasemantic, sensual materials when exploring language as a creative medium.

the Queensland Poetry Festival

My first exposure to QPF was in 2010, when I visited alongside fellow Canadian poets Ken Babstock and Jon Paul Fiorentino. That first visit was a glorious jetlag haze, and I left the festival with wide-eyed warmth for a local poetry scene that embraces and celebrates the many ways in which people explore language.

This upcoming festival, I’ll be decidedly beyond the jetlag and with a deepened familiarity of the local scene. Quite thrilled to participate for the second time, jetlag-free, as a temporary resident of Brisbane.


The Queensland Poetry Festival
a.rawlings Poet-in-Residence blog
a.rawlings’ blog and work

From previous years

Hinemoana Baker
AF Harrold
Elizabeth Bachinsky

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s