ACT Writers Centre / Workshop

Taking five with David Stavanger

Taking Five

David Stavanger is running a workshop Page + Stage Saturday 18 April 10am–2pm at the ACT Writers Centre, where participants will be introduced to the key elements of writing poetry for both the page and spoken word for the stage, without being constrained by the limits of form or competition.


1. Tell us a little bit yourself and your creative endeavours.

I am / a poet / a short form writer / a performer / a cultural producer / and Director of the QLD Poetry Festival.
I endeavour to / sleep more / write more / write less.

(Check out David’s performances here and here.)

2. What is it about poetry that you love, and do you prefer writing or performing it?

The chance to be concise yet immediate. To get close yet keep things at a distance, to keep the dark at bay, to light the park when no-one else is in it.

These days it is more the writing than the performing but having said that, Canberra has always been kind to me on stage (even when I was more about provocation and the discomfort of the interaction between audience and artist). I’m really looking forward to my readings at Bad!Slam! and Bloody Lips this week too – I’ll have Viola Cloning Project with me too, we make a fine pair of shoes between us.

3. What are your creative muses or inspirations?

The unsaid and unseen. The unnamed and the edge of the photo. The back of your mouth and the full bath. Experimentation and new forms. Unmade beds. My son. My love. Her dog.

4. What advice do you have for aspiring poets?

Write a lot and take very few compliments to heart. There are few great poems – take the pressure off now.

5. You’re running a workshop with us (Stage +Page with David Stavanger) on the 18th of April.  What can participants expect to take away from the workshop?

Sweat. Back breaking writing exercises. Play with form and what poetry is and isn’t and might be. New performance dance moves at the mic. Free pizza.

David Stavanger is an award winning poet, writer, and cultural producer. In 2013 he won the Arts Queensland Thomas Shapcott Poetry Award, resulting in the release of The Special (UQP), his first full-length collection of poetry, and at the 2014 Queensland Literary Awards he was awarded a Queensland Writing Fellowship to develop his next two collections. David was recently appointed as the Co-Director of the Queensland Poetry Festival. He is also sometimes known as pioneering Green Room-nominated ‘spoken weird’ artist Ghostboy, performing solo, with multi-instrumentalist Richard Grantham, and with the band Golden Virtues at festivals across Australia. Ghostboy established the thriving Queensland poetry slam scene via his program work with the State Library of Queensland and Woodford Folk Festival. Find him at and on Facebook.

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