David Stavanger brought collegiality, wit and generosity to his Melbourne Visiting Poets Program residency in May. Based in the hinterland of northern NSW, David was selected from a national call-out for a regional resident in Summer 2017. He applied his experience as former co-director of the Queensland Poetry Festival to the curation of a collaborative live event at The Wheeler Centre on May 4. David was joined by a diverse group of poets who performed work to demonstrate that the ‘page vs stage’ tension within Australian poetry may be an illusion.
During his residency, David also hosted consultation sessions with a variety of poets from the community, offering mentoring and creative advice. He was interviewed for Rabbit journal, and will be guest editing a forthcoming issue. He networked with Melbourne peers and industry, and follows his urban visit with a writing retreat at McCraith House to develop drafts towards a new collection exploring mental illness and psychiatry.
The MVPP partners – Australian Poetry, Melbourne Spoken Word, Rabbit and the non/fictionLab – will now be evaluating the first residency supported by the Australia Council, and planning the next residency featuring Gomeroi poet Alison Whittaker, in August.