The final monthly Poetry Night at Sappho for 2023, AVANT GAGA #64, will take place on the second Tuesday of December and feature guest poets Eileen Chong, Monique Lyle, Naomi Cammayo and Eva Phillips. The usual open mic will also happen—10 readers, 2 mins each—get in very early if you want to sign-up to read, from before 6:30pm. There’s tapas and drinks at the bar, and it’s free entry, as ever!
EILEEN CHONG is a poet of Hakka, Hokkien, and Peranakan descent. She is the author of nine books. Her next poetry collection, We Speak of Flowers, is forthcoming with UQP in 2025.
MONIQUE LYLE’s poems have been described as “weak” and “stupid”—her writing is “not beautiful”, favouring “weak words” over evocative adjectives. Her poems are based on experiences growing up in Sydney suburban housing commission in the 1990s and often feature images from the two contexts in which Lyle was raised: a drug den and a religious cult. Lyle says that the aim of her poetry is the acquisition of the voice of a child in an adult’s body; the challenge here being obtaining force through feeble language. She is currently finishing a creative doctorate.
NAOMI CAMMAYO is a Filipina writer in the final stages of her Doctor of Arts degree at the University of Sydney. Her poems appear in Cordite and in the Philippine-based publications Sitting Amok, The Diliman Review and Horde, as well as recently released Filipina queer anthologies Wildfire and Tingle. She is hoping to share more of her work to the world.
EVA PHILLIPS lives on unceded Gadigal land. She was shortlisted for the 2023 Thomas Shapcott Prize, and has been published in Rabbit, Sick Leave, and Platypus. She directs the Meanjin-based ARI, pps/FORA, and is completing a Master in Creative Writing at University of Sydney.
IMAGE: Kay Sage, ‘I Saw Three Cities’ (detail), 1944, oil on canvas.