When it comes to getting the heads-up on the vibrant culture of poetry and poets writing in Melbourne, the city has a unique and world-renowned CBD stronghold. The Collected Works Bookshop stocks poetry collections and journals from around the globe and has an active weekly events calendar featuring poetry readings and launches. Melbourne also has a healthy dose of spoken word events, demonstrating that poetry doesn't only belong on the page.
Melbourne is also headquarters of the country’s national poetry organisation, Australian Poetry. Its website offers an extensive listing of upcoming events across the poetry community, and it has a large poetry library focused on past and present Australian poetry, which is available to access by appointment.
At a time when poetry is thriving in Australia – with outstanding works being written and published – Melbourne remains a focus for the art. There are multiple major literary journals which publish poetry based in the city, as well as poetry publishing houses which garner extensive readership, critical attention and prizes. These journals include: Australian Poetry Journal and the annual Australian Poetry Anthology, Australian Book Review, Cordite, Overland, Rabbit Poetry Journal, Meanjin, Going Down Swinging and The Lifted Brow, and smaller digital sites such as Scum Mag. A range of poetry prizes are offered by these journals including ABR’s annual prestigious Peter Porter Poetry Prize and Overland’s annual prizes for Indigenous, new and emerging poets. The annual Victorian Premier's Literary Award also offers a valuable poetry prize administered through The Wheeler Centre, and the work of poets is also considered within the major literary prize, the Melbourne Prize for Literature.
We also have the Melbourne Poetry Map, a series of eight poetry walks through the Melbourne central business district.