Poetic Craft and White-Settler Colonialism 2013

A workshop on Australian and South African poetics


Illustration of figures in a boat on a large wave

13-14 September 2013

Download the workshop program (PDF 204KB(opens in a new window))

Convenor- Dr Ben Etherington

This workshop brought together eminent Australian and South African poets and critics to consider how poets in societies with a white settler history think about their world through their poetry making. The subject is not white settler colonialism as a theme in poems, but as a limiting circumstance within which poets are concerned to develop particular idioms and techniques. How does this particular form of colonialism condition the aspiration to articulate truth in verse? What are the problems and politics of poetic craft generated by the settlement process and its aftermath? By comparing Australia and South Africa, we hope to avoid discussion of national ‘characteristics’, but, at the same time, to head off easy generalisations about postcolonialism or transnationalism. Our attention is on poetry’s material, approached in its regional specificity and through parallels in technical problems encountered during the global colonial expansion and its aftermath.

View the full workshop statement (PDF 36KB (opens in a new window)).

Participants included

Ingrid de Kok, Jarad Zimbler, Ann Vickery, Michael Farrell, Peter Minter, Kate Fagan, John Mateer, Tony Voss and Astrid Lorange. Convenor: Ben Etherington.

Download the workshop program (PDF 228KB (opens in a new window))

Download the workshop poster (PDF 156KB (opens in a new window)) 

Other events in this series

Crafts of World Literature (opens in a new window)

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