Sea Things Calling Illawarra

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15th October 2009, 01:44pm - Views: 685

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


15 October 2009



No stretch of the Australian coastline is more in tune with

the sea – and more connected to the nation’s maritime history

than the Illawarra.

And that makes it fertile territory for the Sea Things project – a two month long national literary

initiative to encourage new verse and to explore and celebrate Australia’s longstanding

obsession with the ocean. 

Alongside four newly commissioned poems, one of them by Shoalhaven Heads’ professional

poet Mark Miller, organizers are encouraging poetic contributions from the general public. 

Duffle bags of poems are travelling on two sea routes north from Hobart and Fremantle, with

stopovers in Devonport, Melbourne, Broome, Darwin, Port Kembla, Brisbane and Cairns.  

The East Coast bag has landed in Port Kembla from Port Melbourne full of observations and

illustrations from captains, passengers and land-based supporters. It will remain “in port” until

25 October to accept contributions from South Coast poetry writers and enthusiasts.

The final destination is Thursday Island in Torres Strait, where the journey will collect a fifth

work composed and performed by the community and students of the Tagai State College.

The duffle bags containing the final works will then be flown to Sydney in November for a public

performance on Sydney Harbour.

“Sea Things aims 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,” commented Johanna Featherstone,

the Artistic Director of The Red Room Company, the project organizer.

“It’s a project that invites intrigue and adventure, danger and politics.  Not just the sea itself but

also the coastline, harbours and beaches, what happens above and below the surface of the


“The Illawarra’s links to the oceans stretching back to early times speak to rhythm, sound,

image and memory.

“At each of our stops, we want to collect material from the community and by the time we

disembark on Thursday Island our duffle bags will be bursting, for they will contain so many

voices, songs, sounds and secrets that people have shared with us, for this unique project.”

People can submit poems for placing in the bags in several ways:

1. Turn up to the live events that occur at either the arrival or departure of the duffle bags, on a

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

2. Email them to

3. Post them, no later than Monday 9th November, to: 

The Red Room Company, PO Box 1389, Darlinghurst, 

NSW 1300. 

4. Post them on the POOL website:

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

Graham Cassidy, Cato Counsel, on 0419 202 317 



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