Announcing the 2023 Red Room Poetry Fellow

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Each year, the Red Room Poetry Fellowship is awarded to a previously-commissioned poet to foster and enhance their poetic and professional development. Valued at $10,000, this opportunity encourages poets to undertake an intensive period of creative development involving a range of commissions, residency, recordings and publication outcomes.

In 2023, we're thrilled to announce Charmaine Papertalk Green as the Red Room Poetry Fellow. We look forward with anticipation to seeing Charmaine's Fellowship project Jugarnu Wangga Migamanmanha (Older woman making talk) unfold this year. Congratulations Charmaine!

Statement from the Fellow

I am super excited to receive the 2023 Red Room Fellowship which will bring to life my concept  of storytelling through literature - Jugarnu Wangga Migamanmanha (Older woman making talk).

This opportunity will enable me to extend my poetry practice by examining, engaging and decolonising two forms of poetry - cento and cinquain. I will analyse, slice up and weave or stitch back together 37 years of poems I have written in order to create a new series of poetry. I sincerely thank everyone involved especially the Judges and Red Room Poetry.

~ Charmaine Papertalk Green, 2023 Red Room Poetry Fellow

Statement from the Judges

We’d like to congratulate Charmaine Papertalk Green on being the recipient of the Red Room Poetry Fellowship for 2023. Charmaine’s proposed project is called Jugarnu Wangga Migamanmanha which translates into ‘Older woman making talk’. This project will examine cento and cinquain poetry from a female Aboriginal perspective and how these two forms can be decolonised into an Aboriginal way of thinking. While cento poetry takes lines from existing poems written by others to create a new poem, Charmaine intends to examine her own poems from the last 37 years (1986 – 2023) to create a series of new poems. 

We were deeply impressed and moved by this innovative approach. It speaks to creating a personal and cultural legacy that effectively brings the past into the future in a way that gives urgency, on a national level, to one of the most important voices in contemporary Australian poetry. Charmaine’s support material and proposed workshop spoke volumes to her craft, her compassion, and her diligence in creating poetry and community. We’d like to thank Red Room again for this wonderful opportunity and we wish Charmaine all the very best with the Fellowship. 

~ Ellen van Neerven, Scott-Patrick Mitchell, David Adès

The Fellowship received nearly fifty applications this year, from poets almost at the very beginning of their poetic journeys to very established and highly credentialled poets. There was an impressive diversity of voices from all around the country including Indigenous and refugee poets.