Sara Saleh is an award-winning Arab-Australian poet and long-time campaigner for refugee rights and racial justice who has worked with human rights organisations in Australia and across the Middle East.
Maxine Beneba Clarke is the ABIA and Indie award winning author of the critically acclaimed short fiction collection Foreign Soil, the bestselling memoir The Hate Race, the Victorian Premier's Award winning poetry collection Carrying the World, and the Boston Globe/Horn Prize winning picture book The Patchwork Bike, illustrated by Van T. Rudd. She is the author and illustrator of the children's books Fashionista, and When We Say Black Lives Matter, and the editor of Best Australian Stories 2017, and the anthology Growing Up African in Australia. Her latest poetry collection is How Decent Folk Behave.
Omar Sakr is the author of two acclaimed poetry collections, These Wild Houses (Cordite Books) and The Lost Arabs (UQP). The Lost Arabs won the 2020 Prime Minister's Literary Award for Poetry and was shortlisted for the NSW Premier's Literary Award, the John Bray Poetry Award, the Judith Wright Calanthe Award, and the Colin Roderick Award. Omar is a widely published essayist and editor whose work has been translated into Arabic and Spanish. Born to Lebanese and Turkish Muslim migrants in Western Sydney, he lives there still. Son of Sin is his first novel.
Hope One is a Takatāpui Beatboxer and multi-disciplinary artist from Te Ātihaunui-a-Papārangi and Taranaki iwi of Aotearoa. Fusing together Human Beatboxing, Spoken Word, Storytelling, Drag and Movement to deliver captivating BeatRhyming experiences about identity, culture, queerness, motherhood and navigating trauma. Hope’s career started out winning an Australian Idol audition, landing a spot in the Beatbox Alliance - the very first Beatbox group in the Southern Hemisphere, touring nationally across Australia. Placing top four in the Women's division of the Beatboxing World Championships in Germany, warming up stages for major Hip Hop stars and touring the world with Internationally acclaimed theatre show Hot Brown Honey. Adding Poetry to her repertoire, she has been commissioned multiple times for Red Room Poetry, won Ruckus Slam heat in May and is making their published poet debut later this year in a lived-experience mental health poetry anthology curated by David Stavanger for MAD Poetry. Hope's writing their first theatre show in collaboration with Melanie Mununnggur called 'Do you thrust me?' set to debut later this year.
David Stavanger is a poet, performer, cultural producer, editor and lapsed psychologist living on unceded Dharawal land. His first full-length poetry collection The Special (UQP, 2014) was awarded the Arts Queensland Thomas Shapcott Poetry Prize and the Wesley Michel Wright Poetry Prize. David co-directed Queensland Poetry Festival (2015-2017) and is a Senior Project Manager at Red Room Poetry. He is the co-editor of Australian Poetry Journal 8.2 Spoken, Rabbit 27 Tense and SOLID AIR: Collected Australian & New Zealand Spoken Word (UQP, 2019.) His new collection Case Notes (UWAP, 2020) won the 2021 Victorian Premier's Literary Award for Poetry. David is also sometimes known as Green Room-nominated spoken weird artist Ghostboy and helped establish poetry slam in Australia. These days he lives between the stage and the page.
Claire G. Coleman is a Wirlomin Noongar woman whose ancestral country is on the south coast of Western Australia. Born in Perth she has spent most of her life in Naarm (Melbourne) or on the road.
Her debut novel Terra Nullius, written while traveling around the continent in a caravan, was published by Hachette in Australia and Small Beer in the US. Terra Nullius won a black&write! Fellowship and a Norma K. Hemming Award and was shortlisted for the Stella Prize and the Aurealis Science Fiction Award among others. The Old Lie (Hachette 2019) is her second novel.
Her art criticism has been published in Spectrum, Artlink and Art Collector and in exhibition catalogues for NGV, AGSA and NGA and others. Her conceptual/video work Refugium won the Incinerator Art Award in 2021 and she will feature in a number of exhibitions in 2022.
She writes novels, poetry, short-fiction, drama and essay and has featured in the Saturday Paper, the Guardian, Meanjin, Australian Poetry and many others. Her short fiction and poetry has been published in multiple anthologies.
Lies Damned Lies: A Personal Exploration of the Impact of Colonisation, her first nonfiction book, was published in September 2021 by Ultimo Press. Her first play, Black Betty at the End of the World won the Malcolm Robertson Foundation Fellowship and is under development with Malthouse Theatre.
Annie Te Whiu (Te Rarawa) is a poet, weaver, cultural producer and editor, having worked on Tony Birch's Whisper Songs and the anthology, Solid Air: Australia & New Zealand Spoken Word. She previously co-directed the Queensland Poetry Festival and currently works at Red Room Poetry. Annie is a recipient of the Next Chapter Fellowship and is studying a Master of Indigenous Studies and Master of Māori Studies at Te Whare Wānanga o Awanuiārangi.
Anisa is a nationally recognised spoken word poet, play writer, educator and published author. She is the 2016 Queensland Poetry slam champion and runner up for the Australian poetry slam championships. She is the Sunshine Coast laughable comedy champion 2020 and won the crowd favourite prize at the good chat comedy club finals 2020. In 2017 she published her first book Melanin Garden and won the XYZ Innovation in Spoken Word Prize. She has performed at the Sydney Opera house, Splendour in the Grass, Queensland Poetry festival, Women of the world festival and toured the country sharing stories of love and courage. Anisa is also the co-founder of the arts collective Voices of Colour which creates spaces for migrant, refugee and first nations artists to share their work.
Angela Peita is a spoken word performer, workshop facilitator and event producer. She is a founding member and current producer of Ruckus Slam - one of Australia's largest poetry slams and is passionate about creating spaces for live art and community to thrive.
She has been published in print and online, and has performed at festivals and events all over Australia and the United States.
Pascalle Burton is a Meanjin-based experimental poet and performer with an interest in conceptual art and cultural theory. Her collection About the Author is Dead (Cordite Books) was shortlisted for the 2019 Mary Gilmore Award for best first collection of poetry. She also plays in the band The Stress of Leisure.
Zenobia Frost is an arts writer and award-winning poet based in Brisbane. Her most recent poetry collection, After the Demolition (Cordite Books), won the 2020 Wesley Michel Wright Award and was shortlisted for the NSW Premier’s Literary Awards. She recently received a Queensland Premier’s Young Publishers and Writers Award and, in 2020, edited coffee-table history book Art Starts Here: 40 Years of Metro Arts.