Announcing the 2024 Emerging Poets in Residence

Red Room Poetry news
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Providing a creative space to support the professional development of emerging poets

We proudly congratulate Lucy Norton and Aries Gacutan as the deserving selected poets for the Red Room Emerging Poets Residency 2024. It was an honour to gain insight into the diverse voices emerging in Australian poetry and support the trajectory into the next stage of their careers. With abundant talented ink spilling from the page, it was a humbling and daunting selection task.

Both winners speak strongly to the dismantling of untruths and speak deeply to the Blak queer experience through Pride, metaphor and reclamation. I would like to thank the poets for the privilege of reading their work and I encourage everyone who applied this year to please apply again.

~ Lulu Houdini, 2024 Red Room Poetry Emerging Poet Residency Judge

With support from the Adès Foundation and Moonrise on the River, the Emerging Poets Residency encourages the creative trajectory of emerging Australian poets.

Following a national call-out which received 89 applications from emerging poets across the continent, we are thrilled to announce the recipients of the 2024 Emerging Poets Residency Lucy Norton and Aries M. Gacutan!

The Residency will provide creative space and paid stipend to support the professional development of these two emerging poets in residence on Yuin country (Bermagui).

A heartfelt thank you to our 2024 judging panel, Lulu Houdini and Andrew Geoffrey Kwabena Moss.

I was especially impressed by Lucy Norton, a queer storyteller of Darug and Quechua ancestry and her exploration of lineage, relationality and colonial legacies. Her project letters to ancestral body promises to harness shared experiences to bridge cultural chasms, generational divides and buttress genetic memory through her gifts of syncretic resistance. Lucy’s poems form khipu or knots, interconnecting her rich heritage through universal themes linking land, spirit and ancestry.

Aries’ (they/them) brings a proposed volume of poetry that speaks to racism, geographical and cultural displacement, queerness and transness. Their poetic practice includes digital poetics and focuses on the roles that space, place and mundanity play in forming one’s identity.

~ Lulu Houdini, 2024 Red Room Poetry Emerging Poet Residency Judge

The judges would like to congratulate the fantastic eight shortlisted applicants, who thwarted any simple decision-making.

Particularly terrific poets from the shortlist include Rémy Cohen and Lesh Karan. Rémy’s (pseudonym ‘moirra.’) work explores Blak queerness, decolonial storytelling and the gift and grief of remembering, while Lesh’s work plays with form and language - code-mixing her mother tongue, Hindi - to explore place, race, gender and identity.

The judges were deeply impressed by Lesh’s playfulness with form and language as she deftly mixes registers between Hindi and English to interrogate the theme of being ‘not one thing’ from the positionality of a brown female poet. The impermanence of identity is juxtaposed with the natural and built environments that surround her.

Darby Jones’s poetry also navigates complex landscapes, celebrating the lyrical defiance, resilience and joy of Queer Blakness despite the challenges of racism and homophobia in rural Queensland.

Alison J Barton’s narrative and hybrid poetic treatment of complex race relations are of equal noteworthiness. Her proposed project blends historical and personal viewpoints to expose gaps in colonial records, illuminating the nuanced relationships between Australia’s First Nations People and Lutheran migrants who established missions in their transition from refugees to colonisers.

A final honourable mention extends to Sean West’s innovative poetic experiments with sensory experiences, which push the boundaries of form, challenging us, ‘Could you smell the effigy/ on your tongue?’