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Queensland Poetry Festival 2017 presents Writing Through Fences

Queensland Poetry Festival 2017 presents Writing Through Fences

Writing Through Fences at Queensland Poetry Festival (QPF) 2017 Distant Voices

“We assert that we have voices. No one can give us a voice and no one can take our voice away. Our voices are ours and we do with them what we will.” – WTF

Writing Through Fences is a writing and arts group made up of people who are, or have been, incarcerated within Australia’s immigration detention regime and a small number of non-refugee artists resident in Australia.

QPF2017 is proud to present two very special Writing Through Fences events in partnership with BEMAC and Queensland Multicultural Month.

Through the Moon: Performance 
Saturday 26 1-2pm Free event

Four WTF members living in the Australian community present a poetic conversation. This work is based around the way in which poetry has been a life-giving source of personal connection, and at times disconnection, during time spent in immigration detention and upon release. WTF members have a saying with which they sign off each evening: ‘Love through the moon’. Poetry, video and song are presented in Somali, Farsi and Arabic with English translations woven in. Featuring Hani Abdile, Juan Garrido Salgado, Ahmad Aeinjamshid and Janet Galbraith.

Poetry and Displacement: Panel
Saturday 26th 2.30-3.30pm Free event

This panel explores experiences of displacement and poetry. Many WTF members have experienced poetry as an essential act of creation within a system that works towards disintegration. Some of our members have also experienced the effects of incarceration and displacement as that which fractures, challenges and at times erases their ability to write and create.


Hani Abdile is a writer, spoken word poet and budding photogra- pher from Somalia. She made her way to Australia by boat and was detained on Christmas Island. While detained, Hani found healing in writing poetry. She is an honorary member of PEN, co- facilitator of Writing Through Fences. Hani has received numerous awards for her community work and writing. Her first book ‘I Will Rise’ was published by Writing Through Fences in 2016 to critical acclaim.

Juan Garrido Salgado immigrated to Australia from Chile in 1990, fleeing the regime that burned his poetry and imprisoned and tortured him for his political activism. He is an honorary mem- ber of Writing Through Fences who’s work has inspired many with- in the group. Juan has published six books of poetry, and he has published poetry widely in journals and anthologies. He is also a translator of Australians poets and Aboriginal poets for Espejo deTierra/ Earth Mirror a poetry anthology edited by Peter Minter (2008). With Steve Brock and Sergio Holas, He translated poems from Spanish into English for ‘Poetry of the Earth: Mapuche Trilingual Anthology’ with Steve Brock and Sergio Holas.

Janet Galbraith is a poet and writer who who was born in this con- tinent now called Australia. She lives on the un-ceded lands of the Dja Dja Wurrung. Janet’s work has been published in anthologies, magazines and newspapers. She is founder and co-facilitator of Writing Through Fences and has worked as a community artist with a focus on mental health for many years. Her collection of poetry ‘re-membering’ was published by Walleah Press in 2013.

Ahmad Aeinjamshid is a poet and writer whose work has been included in the anthology Writing To The Wire (ed) Kit Kelen and Dan Disney, presented at exhibitions and performed at the Castlemaine State Festival 2017, and the Bendigo Writers Festival 2017

Event Snapshot

Dates: Saturday 26 August
Time: 1:00pm to 3:30pm
Address: 102 Main Street, Kangaroo Point