Live @ the Library Tuesday Special: Three Poets

Monday 13 February 2017

Celebrate UNESCO World Poetry Day, Tuesday 21 March 2017.  Join three Perth poets at the State Library for a reading of their works.

Capturing the creative spirit and discovering our stories are the common themes that unite the State Library of Western Australia and UNESCO in the celebration of World Poetry Day.

March 21 was proclaimed World Poetry day at UNESCO’s 30th session held in Paris in 1999. The day recognises the value of the oral tradition of storytelling through poetry recitals.

CEO and State Librarian, Margaret Allen, said that poetry is a popular genre for storytellers with 92 entries in the recent WA Premier’s Book Awards and an enthusiastic response to the call for live readings as part of the Library’s Live @ the Library series.

“Poets Josephine Clarke, Maureen Gibbons and Ross Jackson will recite their uniquely Western Australian poems capturing the richness of personal stories, landscapes and heritage.

“Live @ the Library challenges the use of space and place, similarly the poets explore creative approaches to the story of Western Australia,” Mrs Allen said.

Poet Josephine Clarke said that the writing and reciting of poetry in an open public place such as the State Library, fulfilled the UNESCO vision of poetry as a symbol of the human spirit and free speech.

“I am excited to share my poems with the community on World Poetry Day. It celebrates our individual voices and our belief in the tradition of storytelling through poetry”, she said.

All three poets will recite from published and un-published works at the State Library on Tuesday 21 March. Entry is free.

Fact File:

UNESCO World Poetry Day – Tuesday 21 March 2017

"By paying tribute to the men and women whose only instrument is free speech, who imagine and act, UNESCO recognizes in poetry its value as a symbol of the human spirit’s creativity. By giving form and words to that which has none – such as the unfathomable beauty that surrounds us, the immense suffering and misery of the world – poetry contributes to the expansion of our common humanity, helping to increase its strength, solidarity and self-awareness."  Irina Bokova, Director-General of UNESCO – as published on


Maureen Gibbons has a Doctor of Creative Arts from Curtin University of Technology. Until recently she tutored in poetry and facilitated creative practice workshops for post-graduate research students.  She is currently an active member of Out of the Asylum (OOTA) —a West Australian writers' group— and she serves on its committee. Maureen's work has been broadcast on Radio National's PoeticA and published in Hecate, Poetrix, Blue Dog Australian Poetry, Spinybabbler, Australian Public Intellectual {API} Network, Strange 3, The Weighing of the Heart: An Anthology of Emerging West Australian Poets, Rabbit: a journal for nonfiction poetry and The Butter Lady: A silhouette Biography in Verse.


Ross Jackson is a retired school teacher and long term resident of Perth, Western Australia. He has had poems in many Australian literary journals and his work has also appeared in New Zealand, Ireland, England and Canada. He writes about the experience of aloneness in the suburbs, about aging, landscapes, the companionship of dogs, visual art and many other topics. 


Josephine Clarke is a member of the collective that organises Voicebox - monthly poetry readings at The Fremantle Fibonacci Centre - and has been actively involved with Out of the Asylum Writers’ Group, based at the Fremantle Arts Centre.  She has had poetry and short stories published in Australian journals including Cordite, and Westerly. In 2015 Josephine attended a Strictly Poetry Focus Week at Varuna, the National Writers’ House, with Deb Westbury. She was a featured poet of the 2016 Perth Poetry Festival where she launched her first poetry chapbook, between white.

MEDIA CONTACT: Susan Parker, Manager Communications and Marketing, 9427 3153 or email   Media photo opportunity at the State Library with poets by arrangement and on 21 March.


Last updated on: 13 February 2017