Welcoming POEM FOREST Intern Annie Yoshida

Red Room Poetry news

We are delighted to introduce you to Annie Yoshida, our new digital communications intern for POEM FOREST. She was interviewed by her fellow intern Sophie Bellotti.

Hello Annie, and welcome to Red Room! Can you tell us a bit about yourself?

I’m looking forward to it, thank you! I’m a writer and activist living between Nipaluna and Gadigal land. Most recently, I have been working with the Asian Australian Alliance to bring awareness to the issues faced in being Asian in Australia. I hope, one day, to publish a novel. For the time being, however, it’s freelance writing.

Congratulations on being selected as a 2023 POEM FOREST Communications and Engagement Intern. What makes you excited to be a part of the project?

Thank you - wow, there’s a lot to be excited for! I’m perhaps most looking forward to helping grow the POEM FOREST… literally. I would love to plant a tree!

What makes poetry a powerful art form, in your eyes? Do you write poetry yourself?

Poetry, like much of the arts, is so powerful because of its ability to mobilise change. It’s why prizes like POEM FOREST are so important. We need the arts to connect to these bigger issues on a more intimate, personal level. And poetry and the arts are often the most powerful when they speak to these issues. I think my writing does this a lot, too. It tends to lean more towards fiction and creative nonfiction essays, but I’ve recently started to write song lyrics. I suppose that’s a kind of poetry in itself.

When do you feel most creative? Do you have any rituals, places, people, etc. that you go to to feel inspired?

Reading something - whether it's a chapter of a good book, a poem, a song lyric. Reading the words of others always inspires my own writing, my own creativity.

And finally, what’s one thing you are consuming at the moment, and one thing you would recommend for others to consume?

Lately I’ve been trying to read more works by Asian women. There’s so much great literature written by Asian women, though it seems people only ever talk of Murakami. On that note, I would recommend Japanese writer Mieko Kawakami, she is wonderful.

Annie Yoshida is a writer and activist based in Nipaluna and Gadigal land. Formerly an English literature student, Annie is studying a Master of Media Practice at the University of Sydney. Annie has been working as an organiser for the Asian Australian Alliance and is passionate about bringing awareness to issues faced by Asians and Asian Australians in Australia. Outside of this, Annie is a freelance writer.