Big Wave Of Response To Sea Things

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25th November 2009, 01:53pm - Views: 871

People Feature The Red Room Company 1 image

PO Box 1389

Darlinghurst NSW 1300

Telephone 02 9319 5090

Mobile 0425 312 334

ABN 35 103 464 446


25 November 2009


Neptune would be pleased.

Australians have responded to a call-out for their views on what the oceans and waterways

mean to them by submitting more than 300 poems, stories, images, videos and recorded messages to

the Sea Things project.

The six week long national project involved two duffle bags travelling on ships along both the east and

west coasts and collecting works of verse along the way. This “cargo” was expanded by works

commissioned from professional poets and submitted by members of the public online and through the


The works were gathered and poems performed at stops in Hobart, Melbourne, Port Kembla, Byron Bay,

Brisbane, Cairns, Thursday Island, Fremantle and Darwin. Poems also came from Switzerland, England

and Wales.

The project aimed to build on Australia's maritime poetry tradition in a contemporary context, imagining

the nation’s sea history through new work that can be shared nationally and internationally through

print, audio, film and web forms.

The results of what Australians feel about the oceans surrounding them will be revealed and discussed

tomorrow at a finale performance on Sydney Harbour.

“Let’s face it, the sea invites intrigue and adventure, danger and politics.  Not just the sea itself but also

the coastline, harbours and beaches…our island-continent speaks to rhythm, sound, image and

memory,” commented Johanna Featherstone, Artistic Director of project organiser The Red Room


“We thought what better medium to work in and on, and utilize to help lift the profile of verse and the

work of some of our best poets…and encourage the thoughts of the public at large.”

Poems were written on, among other things, sick bags, napkins, a hat, paper scraps, school exercise

books, embossed paper, coloured photos and laminated posters.

The works were evenly spread among males and females, and across age groups. Primary and High

School students were big contributors. 

The combined distance travelled by the two duffle bags was 10,200 kms (5,500 nautical miles).

People Feature The Red Room Company 2 image

PO Box 1389

Darlinghurst NSW 1300

Telephone 02 9319 5090

Mobile 0425 312 334

ABN 35 103 464 446

Published poets and writers taking part included:

Graeme Miles, Adrienne Eberhard (Hobart), Petra White

(Melbourne), Michelle Leber and Jenni Ivins (Port Phillip Bay),

Mairi Neil (Mordialloc), Luke Beesley (Brisbane), Sandra

Thibodeaux and Alan Whykes, (Darwin), Jewel Vercoe,

David J Delaney and Diane Andrews (Cairns), and Mark Miller,

Colleen Duncan, Ron Vale, Ali Smith and Casse Charlton

(NSW South Coast).

When: Thursday 26 November. What: Sea Things Finale Performance. Time: 6pm.

Where: The Royal Australian Naval Sailing Association, Sir David Martin Reserve, New Beach Road,

               Rushcutters Bay


Media inquiries: Johanna Featherstone, Red Room Company, on 0425 312 334, or Graham Cassidy,

Cato Counsel, on 0419 202 317

The Red Room Company creates, promotes and publishes a spectrum of poetry by Australian writers, in unusual

ways. The company is not-for-profit and is supported by The Vincent Fairfax Family Foundation, The Australia

Council for the Arts, Arts NSW, The Ian Potter Foundation and The Keir Foundation.

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