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Carmen Keates


Carmen travelled to Tasmania to read at the Tasmanian Poetry Festival in Launceston, deliver a poetry workshop at the Tasmanian Writers' Centre in Hobart and to spend time at the Kelly Street Writers' Cottage, Hobart to begin some new work.

Reading alongside established poets, and poets with vastly different styles at the Festival encouraged Carmen to continue to focus on the uniqueness in her own work. With every reading and festival she is finding that she is refining her own poetry aesthetic and technical judgment.

The connections Carmen made at the Tasmanian Poetry Festival and the Tasmanian Writers' Centre will be beneficial to future opportunities. She also made contact with a number of established interstate poets, and was able to provide them with some of her longer poems which assisted with networking at the festival.

Disappointingly, the Writers’ Centre workshop was cancelled. However, on the strength of her experiences at the Tasmanian Poetry Festival, Carmen was sought out upon her return to Brisbane to discuss future readings and workshops in her home city.

Photo of Carmen


October to October 2014 


Launceston and Hobart, Tasmania

Arts Queensland contribution

$2370– Individuals Fund


  • Carmen drafted a significant amount of new poetry during her time in Tasmania. Being in a different setting allowed Carmen to start at least ten new poems over the two-week period. 
  • Carmen’s poetry was heard by established poets and she was keen to get their feedback. She is now in email contact with three poets who hold important editorial positions in Australian poetry. 
  • While in Hobart, Carmen was interviewed on ABC Radio. This was the first time Carmen had been interviewed on live radio. During the 20-minute interview, Carmen was able to promote the Tasmanian Poetry Festival, her workshop at the Tasmanian Writers' Centre, and thank Arts Queensland for making the trip possible. 

Learnings and reflections

Carmen’s time in Tasmania enabled her to reflect on how to present herself and her work, particularly in a festival context: 

Poetry festival audiences are sincerely interested in what you do as a poet, so it is worth having some clear thoughts prepared on how you describe your style and interests. Don't assume that your work will always speak for you; your comments can be what encourages someone to stay and listen, or to look out for you in the future. 

Being able to communicate about your poetry and yourself is the doorway to getting readers. On this trip I experienced this requirement in different contexts: in one-on-one discussions; in how people introduced me; in how I introduced my own work before a reading; and how I talked about writing in general when I was interviewed on ABC Radio in Hobart. 

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A pdf version of the case study (PDF) (390.96 KB) is available case study.

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