Festival Program

City Program

Poetic Portraits

Fri 10 Sep, 12pm
State Library Victoria, Create Quarter

Portraits of Older Australians in Poetry is a collection of verse that celebrates the strength, vitality and wisdom of senior generations too often sidelined in literature and society. The project’s co-creators, poets Cassandra Atherton and Jessica Wilkinson, speak with fellow poets Jeanine Leane and Nick Whittock and project participants Aunty Jenni Martiniello and Pip Heale about their experiences as writers and subjects, and their insights into the power of poetry to illuminate the varied and valuable stories of those navigating the great second act of their lives.

In partnership with RMIT University


1 hour

Event artists

Cassandra Atherton is an award-winning prose poet. She co-authored Prose Poetry: An Introduction and co-edited the Anthology of Australian Prose Poetry. Her most recent book of prose poetry is Leftovers. She is a commissioning editor for Westerly magazine and associate editor at MadHat Press (USA).

Philippa Heale studied ballet from seven and first saw Spanish dancing at the Tivoli Theatre, aged ten. Spanish dancing became her lifelong passion and took her to Europe in her early 20s. She returned to Melbourne permanently in the 1990s and is currently working on a book, The Art of Spanish Dance.

Jeanine Leane is a Wiradjuri poet and writer from the Murrumbidgee River. She currently teaches at the University of Melbourne.

Aunty Jenni Kemarre Martiniello is an award-winning visual artist, writer, glass artist and photographer of Arrernte, Chinese and Anglo-Celtic descent. Her works are held in numerous public and private collections including the National Gallery of Australia, the Australian Parliament House Collection and the National Museum of Palau.

Nick Whittock lives on Djiringanj land, Yuin country. He is the author of poetry collections covers (COD, 2004), howsits (inken publisch, 2014), Watto Era (Crater Press, UK, 2016) and Australia (SoD, 2016). He currently writes on ceramic vessels built by Sierra McManus.

Jessica Wilkinson has published three poetic biographies, most recently Music Made Visible: A Biography of George Balanchine. She is the founding editor of Rabbit, a journal for nonfiction poetry, and teaches creative writing at RMIT University.

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