PLEASE NOTE: Festival Passes include a discounted workshop price. To take advantage of this offer, enter the promotion code PASS at the checkout. Hit the ‘apply’ button and it will alter the price total from $60 to $40.

Please contact us by email if you have any difficulties:

Next Generation: Young People’s Poetry Featuring Nathan Curnow

castlemaine P>F. edith siwell

Sunday the 23rd of October is all about young people being creative with words. Nathan Curnow will feature at Next Generation: Young People’s Poetry, a place for kids and young adults to meet and share their words.

The afternoon will also include the award presentations for the Castlemaine Poetry Prize junior sections – free entry for prizewinners and their accompanying grown-up..

Venue: Anglican Parish Hall, Cnr. Forest and Kennedy Sts. Castlemaine. 2.30 -4.30. There will be an open section with a 3 minute limit per reader, registration on the door from 2pm. $10

(Please note that the morning workshop with Alisoun Downing has been cancelled)

Meet our Feature Poets:

Omar Musa is a rapper, poet and author from Queanbeyan, NSW. He is the former winner of the Australian Poetry Slam and the Indian Ocean Poetry Slam. Omar has appeared on ABC’s Q&A and received a standing ovation at TEDx Sydney at the Sydney Opera House. His debut novel, Here Come the Dogs, was longlisted for the Miles Franklin Award and the International Dublin Literary Award, and he was named one of the Sydney Morning Herald’s Best Young Australian Novelists in 2015.

Omar photo, cred Cole Bennetts.jpgOmar Musa (photo by Cole Bennetts)

Mike Ladd was born to Australian parents in Berkeley, California in 1959. He has published 8 books of poetry and prose, including the haibun Karrawirra Parri, Walking the Torrens from Source to Sea. His latest collection is Invisible Mending (Wakefield Press, 2016). Mike has worked for ABC Radio for over 30 years. He was the founding producer and editor of Poetica, ABC Radio National’s weekly poetry program, which ran from 1997 to 2015, bringing Australian and international poetry to a broad audience. Mike is based in Adelaide and currently works for the Features and Documentaries Unit of ABC R.N.

Mike Ladd 2016. Photo by Robert McFarlane.jpgMike Ladd (photo by Robert MacFarlane)


Chloe Wilson is the author of two poetry collections, The Mermaid Problem and Not Fox Nor Axe, which was shortlisted for the 2016 Kenneth Slessor Prize for Poetry. She received equal first prize in the 2016 Josephine Ulrick Poetry Prize, and has been awarded the John Marsden Prize for Young Australian Writers, the (Melbourne) Lord Mayor´s Creative Writing Award for Poetry, the Gwen Harwood Poetry Prize, the Fish Publishing Flash Fiction Prize and the Arts Queensland Val Vallis Award. She holds a PhD in Creative Writing from the University of Melbourne, where she has also taught poetry. wilson photo.jpg                 Chloe Wilson


Nathan Curnow lives in Ballarat, and writes poetry, plays, and short fiction. His work features in Best Australian Poems 2008 and 2010 (Black Inc.) and has won a number of awards including the Josephine Ulrick Poetry Prize. His book The Ghost Poetry Project (Puncher and Wattmann) was named by Cate Kennedy as a ‘best read’ of 2009. His most recent collection is RADAR (Walleah Press, 2012), together with poet Kevin Brophy. He is a past editor of Going Down Swinging and has recently been described by Martin Duwell as ‘a sort of poetic equivalent of Louis Theroux’. As a spoken-word performer he has featured at many festivals across the country and been heard widely on ABC, Triple J, and Radio NZ.                          nathancurnow.weebly.comnathan by michelledunn.jpgNathan Curnow (photo by Michelle Dunn)


E. A. Gleeson is one of those lucky people who makes her living from doing what she loves; engaging with people, creating ceremonies and writing. She is a poet, essayist, funeral director and celebrant. She has published two collections of poetry, In between the dancing and Maisie and The Black Cat Band. Her essays have been published in the major Australian newspapers and journals. She is a regular guest speaker at community events and reader/performer at poetry festivals. photo1.jpg                                 E.A. Gleeson


Andy Jackson won the 2013 Whitmore Press Manuscript Prize with the thin bridge. His most recent collections are Immune Systems (Transit Lounge 2015), and That knocking (Little Windows 2016). A forthcoming collection, Music our bodies can’t hold, consists of portraits of other people with Marfan Syndrome. He blogs about poetry and bodily otherness irregularly at:

Andy.jpgAndy Jackson


Alisoun Downing is a secondary English, Literature and English Language teacher. She is passionate about language, literature and writing, is a published writer and poet and has run writing workshops for adults and secondary students for over twenty years. She has also developed and taught highly-successful ‘Writers Workshop’ courses for Year 9 and 10 students at schools including Castlemaine Secondary College and Catholic College Bendigo, whilst Head of English at both of these schools. She is now teaching senior, VCE English, English Language, and Literature at Girton Grammar School Bendigo.

Image-1.jpg                                                                           Alisoun Downing


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This project was possible thanks to support from Mt Alexander Shire’s Community Grants Program, and the Australian Government’s Regional Arts Fund, which promotes access to practice and experience the arts, administered in Victoria by Regional Arts Victoria.

Program launch 27th August

You may have heard the rumours: Castlemaine will be home to its very own Poetry Festival here in October. The team at PoetiCas, together with the Castlemaine Word Mine, has been busy this past year making this possibility a reality, with funding and support from Mt Alexander Shire Council and Regional Arts Victoria. We are now very happy to be able to share the vision with you all at last.

We will be launching the official program for the 2016 Castlemaine Poetry Festival at this month’s PoetiCas reading. Hitherto hidden secrets will be finally revealed – the who’s who of our headline poets – the when and where of all our exciting events! Copies of the program will be available for you to take home.

Saturday 27th August, at our usual haunt the Food Garden,
Down the lane at 14 Mostyn St. Castlemaine.

Our feature readers will be Judith Rodriguez and Sue King-Smith

1.30pm for a 2pm start – come and get your coffee and cake, or soup before we start.

$5 entry, and with that you get a ticket in our raffle.

Plus an open Section (limited to 3 minutes per reader).