SPM - RR Fellow 2022.png

surrender. give in. have faith that jumping,
submission first, will yield results: how
else can a fledgling be expected to leave a
nest?

~ Scott-Patrick Mitchell from 'on how to be a bird'

The Fellowship fosters and enhances poetic and professional development

Established to recognise and develop the achievements of contemporary Australian poets, the Fellowship supports the artistic growth of the individual as well as the wider community.

In 2022, we're thrilled to have Scott-Patrick Mitchell as the Red Room Poetry Fellow and look forward with anticipation to seeing their Fellowship project Antipodean Sea Garden: Knowing Perth Canyon unfold this year.

Scott-Patrick Mitchell's statement

Thank you to Red Room Poetry and the judges – Charmaine Papertalk Green, Rachael Mead and Andy Jackson – for this incredible opportunity. I am honoured, humbled and blown away to be awarded the 2022 Red Room Poetry Fellowship, making me the first West Australian poet to receive this incredible opportunity. Special thanks to Dr Tamryn Bennett for your ongoing support and to Red Room Poetry in general for creating opportunities such as this for the Australian poetry community.

My 2022 project is titled Antipodean Sea Garden: Knowing Perth Canyon. I have been fascinated by Perth Canyon, located off the WA coastline, for about six years now. This project provides me the space and time to walk 70 km of the Swan Coastal Plain located on Whadjuk Noongar Country, sitting with land and sea, listening, feeling, imagining and writing work in response to this experience. During this time I will be enlisting a technique called poepatetics championed by WA poet Nandi Chinna, whose work I admire deeply.

The project will allow me to talk to professionals who have links to Perth Canyon, ranging from First Nation storytellers to marine biologists, in order to inform my work further. The Red Room Poetry Fellowship also allows me to invest in a mentorship with John Kinsella while creating an opportunity to commission a number of West Australian poets to write work about Perth Canyon. These poets will then read their poems at an event during Perth Poetry Festival 2022 where I will discuss my Fellowship at length.

Ultimately, my project aims to draw attention to Perth Canyon and capture the ever shifting ecology of WA beaches as we move further into a world fraught with climate change. I am excited to be the recipient of this Fellowship and I can’t wait to share this project with you all.

~ Scott-Patrick Mitchell, Red Room Poetry Fellow 2022

Judges' statement

We are delighted to announce Scott-Patrick Mitchell as the recipient of the 2022 Red Room Poetry Fellowship. Scott-Patrick’s project Antipodean Sea-Garden: Knowing Perth Canyon involves a deep engagement with place, raising awareness of the Perth Canyon, a biodiverse submarine valley system 50km off the coast of Boorloo / Perth. Walking the length of the Perth Canyon along the beaches of the Swan Coastal Plain, Scott-Patrick will poetically respond to this liminal space, supplementing his writing with video, photography and audio recordings to create audio visual essays to accompany the final poetic project. Antipodean Sea-Garden will further respond to Red Room’s Writing Water project and develop Scott-Patrick’s existing work using the poetic method of ‘poepatetics’.

We were particularly impressed with the strong combination of methodological and theoretical thinking of Scott-Patrick’s application. The project was articulated with exceptional clarity and attention to detail, characteristics that extended to the supplementary aspects of the proposal including consultation interviews and workshop materials.

This was not an easy decision. The field of applicants was exceptionally strong, with very little separating the top three proposals. After much discussion, the panel felt that the decisive factor was Scott-Patrick’s support of poets’ work beyond his own. His commitment to creative development through mentorship and use of Fellowship funding to provide a platform for other poets set this application apart.

The judges would also like to specifically commend the applications of shortlisted poets Shastra Deo and Jill Jones.

We are thrilled for Scott-Patrick and look forward to the poems that will flow from this project.

~ Charmaine Papertalk Green, Andy Jackson and Rachael Mead

Fellowship shortlist

The panel were frankly astounded by the strength of the applications received this year. The diversity, inventiveness and calibre of both proposals and accompanying poetry made the judging process extremely challenging.

The topics and themes engaged with in this year’s applications revealed the exceptional range of voices and perspectives within Australia’s poetic community. We were impressed with all the poets’ commitment to development of their practice.

The scores of the shortlisted poets were clustered – very few points separated the top twenty applicants. The shortlistees were selected for inventive proposals that included a clear and detailed articulation of their approach and process, alongside strong support material. Proposals that included some elaboration of workshop planning and demonstrated strong links to Red Room projects were also scored favourably.

The judges would like to thank Red Room Poetry for the honour of involving us in this wonderful initiative. To witness the passion, diversity, and vibrancy of Australia’s poetry community, especially in these harrowing times, has proved both inspiring and therapeutic. We thank you for the privilege of reading your work.

~ Charmaine Papertalk Green, Andy Jackson and Rachael Mead

Discover more