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slip off the concrete boots of your dreams

~ Ali Whitelock from 'The Lactic Acid in the Calves of Your Despair' (Wakefield Press, 2020)

What is a poet without an audience? What is a new book without hands to hold it up to the light? The outbreak of COVID-19 has meant the cancellation of live poetry events and writing festivals Australia wide, resulting in many poets and their publishers losing income and key opportunities to showcase new work, not to mention build readerships and celebrate the words beyond print.
To offer a little relief in response to this, Red Room Poetry and Oranges & Sardines Foundation have collaborated to create In Your Hands – a free digital collection featuring 80 poems by poets whose recent, current or forthcoming release has been directly affected by the closure of live events. All poets are paid for their contribution to In Your Hands and the collection encourages audiences to buy copies of the books. 



In Your Hands launch party

In Your Hands was live-stream launched on Thursday 30 April via Facebook.

Hosts David Stavanger and Anne-Marie Te Whiu were joined for readings by 12 guest poets – Jill Jones, Ali Whitelock, Ellen van NeervenMichael FarrellFelicity PlunkettMark Tredinnick, Rebecca Jessen, Charmaine Papertalk Green, Alise Blayney, Thuy On, Prithvi Varatharajan, and short film by Joelistics.

Missed the live stream? Watch the replay >


In Your Hands was created with support from Oranges & Sardines Foundation and others. If you want to see more, consider making a donation. Thank you for celebrating Australian poetry with us.  


Panel: States of Spoken Word @ Festival Online – Friday 7 Aug

What is a performance poet without a stage? Join this free panel discussion about the state (and rise) of spoken word both in AUS/NZ. Co-presented by Red Room Poetry and Melbourne Spoken Word with support from the Oranges & Sardines Foundation. 

When: Friday 7 August, 6:45pm
Where: Live via Facebook
Hosts: David Stavanger, with Bennie Solah, Laurie May, Anne-Marie Te WhiuZainab Syed and Angela Peita
Cost: Free
See event details >

Partners and Supporters

In Your Hands is made possible by our principal supporter Oranges & Sardines Foundation and the following: