Judith Wright Centre of Contemporary Arts

QPF2017 In Conversation – Maxine Beneba Clarke & Tusiata Avia

Presented by Queensland Poetry Festival

QPF2017 Distant Voices brings together two of the most prominent storytellers alive today. Join prize-winning Australian writer, memoirist and poet of Afro-Caribbean descent Maxine Beneba Clarke (Carrying the World, The Hate Race) as she reconnects with poet & performer Tusiata Avia, an essential voice in New Zealand and Pacifica literature. These two leading lights discuss their work across mediums and cultures, the poetry of memory and myth, the words that lie behind walls, and the power to “write beautifully about ugly things.”

Maxine Beneba Clarke is a widely published Australian writer of Afro-Caribbean descent. Her critically acclaimed short fiction collection Foreign Soil (2014) won the ABIA for Literary Fiction Book of the Year 2015 and the 2015 Indie Book Award for Debut Fiction. Her most recent works include her third poetry collection Carrying The World, 2017 winner of the Victorian Premier’s Literary Award for Poetry, her first children's picture book The Patchwork Bike, and the best-selling memoir The Hate Race, which has been shortlisted in 2017 for the Victorian Premier Literary Awards, the Indie Book Awards, The Stella Prize, the ABIA Biography Book of the Year and the NSW Premier’s Literary Awards.

Tusiata Avia is an acclaimed New Zealand‒Samoan poet, performer and writer. She has published three books of poetry: Wild Dogs Under My Skirt, Bloodclot, Fale Aitu/Spirit House, a chapbook and two children’s books. Her one-woman theatre show (based on Wild Dogs Under My Skirt) has toured internationally and is now a play for six actresses that will feature at a number of festivals over the next couple of years. Tusiata has held a number of writers’ residencies and awards, including a Fulbright Pacific Artist Fellowship at the University of Hawai’i and the Janet Frame Literary Trust Award.

Read more about Maxine Beneba Clarke  

Watch Tusiata Avia in action 

Images Caption : Maxine Beneba Clarke & Tusiata Avia 
Images Credit : Gilimbaa

    Australia Council of the Arts        

Event Details

Date & Time

Sat 26 Aug, 11.30am
Duration: Approx 60min (no interval)


Theatre Unreserved Seating
General admission: $15
Age recommendation: 15+ (Mature Themes)



Booksellers NZ

Avia is an expert at her craft and finds layers and layers of memory in old homes, broken buildings, echoed words.

Dave Eggers

Maxine Beneba Clarke is a powerful and fearless storyteller.