Maxine Beneba Clarke
is The Saturday Paper’s poet laureate, and the author of The Hate Race and Foreign Soil. She is a winner of the Victorian Premier’s Literary Award for Poetry.

By this author

poetry November 23, 2019


temptress   the redhead          on the matchbox is all charcoal lash       she wears a do it smile, like eve’s                    to adam       alarm   most arsonists, they say,    …

poetry November 16, 2019


the blood-truth is:   it’s much less about the camera            and much more to do with the body that it’s worn on   the body with the baton hanging from its belt, the body in blue, the body on the cop beat clenching fists around a point-blank pepper-spray …

poetry November 09, 2019

Waltzing Matildas

a lot can go down along the 200 red burning       metres of track between the victory lap            and the starter gun        on the podium, tommie smith and john carlos could bow their heads          for civil rights, and raise …

poetry November 02, 2019

Permanent Closure: a found poem


poetry October 26, 2019

Last Octobers

then it’s full-bloom calendar-crash                           mama-carves-the-pumpkin tired-in-the-bones tinsel in the aisles choose your tree early here we go round the                               trick or treat time just …

poetry October 19, 2019

Jacqui’s law

they say the people’s senator         from tasmania has the deciding medevac bill repeal vote   so, quite simply, we are asking:                      does senator jacqui lambie know   that hamid khazaei      died from compounding …

poetry October 12, 2019

The Gospel of Peter

 a poem constructed from the words of Peter Dutton     african gangs have taken over the streets, melburnians are afraid to go out to eat                                  …

poetry October 05, 2019

Spring break

the bell rings at two thirty, an hour too early: playground a-teeming, kids whooping with glee   mums all where’s-wallying this way and that, as dads dig in lost property for this term’s stray hat   kids spill from demountables, halls, ball courts …

poetry September 28, 2019


so hear us out,           we invite that australian guy:   the PM with the big head who loves god, and hates migrants   we put on a state dinner,      all the trimmings, bells and whistles: get his wife and melania          all smiling, …