The heart is like a star,
with its orbit of blood,
its squelching, atomised gut,
valves distending in one long,
relentless scream

~ Kit Brookman from 'How stars are like us

In 2011, our Clubs & Societies project paired 15 commissioned poets with 15 clubs from across the country to give light, through poetry, to the specialised knowledge and experience held within Australia’s unique clubs and societies. Poets immersed themselves inside their new worlds, learning the lingo and knowledge, and using it to create new and interesting poems. 

Their poems are collected here and in our 2012 poetry collection, First Light.

First Light poetry collection

For this collection, we encouraged poets to experiment and freely interpret the notion of 'poetry'. First Light also contains excerpts from a research report by Jacinta van den Berg, exploring the role of clubs and societies in Australian culture.

Participating clubs and societies

  • The Aboriginal Writers' Retreat
  • The Astronomical Society of NSW
  • The Australian Transgender Support Association of QLD
  • Central Australian Bushwalkers
  • Club 2540
  • Dorkbot Sydney
  • The Embroiderers' Guild of NSW
  • The Existentialist Society
  • The Hobart Bell Ringers
  • Melbourne Motorgliding Club
  • The Wayside Chapel 
  • Wildlife Preservation Society of Queensland 
  • Wollongong Illawarra Roller Derby