In a practice leap from love you stand
nowhere-they-can-find-me, bare feet in sand,
imagining a perfect loneliness, the soul a
self-stolen ship, breathing around the coast
'St Kilda' by Petra White
The sea has always offered an inspirational and imaginative context for Australian poets and poetry; not just the sea itself but the coastline, harbours and beaches.
In 2009, Red Room Poetry commissioned four poets – Graeme Miles, Petra White, Luke Beesley, and Sandra Thibodeaux – to write poems about seas, beaches and ports that inspired them. The poems journeyed in two duffle bags, in private, commercial and naval vessels during October and November, travelling between five ports, to their final destination of Thursday Island in the Torres Strait.
Along the way, members of the public, writers' groups and schools added poetic cargo, sketches, poems and literary souvenirs to the duffle bags. A logbook was kept by ship captains to record weather and marine sightings.
You can see the poetic cargo, poems and paraphernalia that we collected in the Online Exhibition.
Once on Thursday Island, the bags were met by the local community and Red Room Poetry, where a school poetry workshop, poetry readings by our four commissioned poets and a film screening of the Sea Things documentary.
A ten-minute film following the journey of the project, its people and cargo, produced with Development Funding provided by the Shark Island Documentary Fund.
Listen: Sea Things on ABC
Sea Things featured on ABC Radio National's 360documentaries – check it out for poetry readings from our poets, interviews and much more!