Emerging Poet in Residence Lucy Norton

Red Room Poetry news

The Emerging Poets Residency is an initiative which encourages the creative trajectory of emerging Australian poets with the support of the Adès Family Foundation and Moonrise on the River.

We are delighted to introduce emerging poet Lucy Norton, one of the two 2024 recipients of the residency.

Congratulations on being selected for the Emerging Poets Residency on Yuin Country (Bermagui)! Can you tell us a bit about what you hope to work on while you’re there?

Thank you! Grateful for such an incredible opportunity, and what beautiful Country I’ll get to be on.

I’m hoping to continue putting together my poetry manuscript, the bones of which have begun to form over the past few months.

I’d also be keen on exploring some long form works. I’ve been dipping my toe into writing fiction, pretty heavily inspired by lived experience and family history.

I’ve been enjoying experimenting with speculative fiction as a way of working through the complexity of grief, and am looking forward to seeing what else spills from this place.

Is connecting to place an important part of your poetry practice?

Yes, because connecting to place is an important part of my life in general. Wherever I am, I like to allow the land to show me what I’m meant to see or hear or know while I’m there. Connecting with and communing with Country is a big part of my poetic practice because I am a part of her, whether I’m up in my apartment or standing on bitumen. She’s under there at all times, holding everything up and her spirit too encompasses us.

There is also the great river of consciousness which connects us all, and I find a lot of my creative practice comes from this place, or non-place. I talk about this with other writers and creatives a lot. I feel as if this is the ‘place’ where a lot of ideas, stories, voices are birthed from. It’s important to maintain the thread that connects us to this great river, too.

Who are some poets you are inspired by? And do you have any reading/listening recommendations?

There are so many poets which inspire me, it would be impossible to name them all. This is a non-exhaustive list of some that have been on my mind lately: Mahmoud Darwish, Ali Cobby Eckermann, Mosab Abu Toha, Ada Limón, and Gregory Orr.

As for my reading/listening recommendations: Postcolonial Love Poem by Natalie Diaz to read and Shaping Grief with Language by Gregory Orr to listen.

What is something you are curious about in your practice at the moment?

I’ve been working on a longer form piece and getting curious about what it means to write about someone who is no longer here anymore. How do you ensure you honour their memory, their life, their legacy while also sharing their story truthfully? It feels weighted sometimes, and I’ve been getting curious about how to move forward with a story that isn’t entirely yours, but has nobody else to tell it.

Do you have any special writing rituals?

Being with Country, if I can. If not, open window so I can hear the birds. But if a poem wants to come, they’ll find a way! They will make their way to me in dreams, while I’m hanging out the washing, waiting for the bus, smelling the rain about to start.

About the Poet