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 May 11, 2019


folktale has it          new arrivals, they’ll throw any queen or kingdom              into spin   angered uninvited guests will conjure curses   horses are saddled: messengers dispatched far and wide to burn the spinning wheels   firstborns, …

poetry May 04, 2019


– for natalina angok   they are the women                  whose bodies                  don’t quite make front page     they are carefully measured outrage        when it happened   they weren’t walking home …

poetry April 27, 2019


with his right arm raised in holy rapture   and the invited camera man angling the frame   shirt creased shadow-dramatic      like a gentileschi   and hallelujah light catching               his face, just-so   the prime minister …

poetry April 20, 2019

Liber Pauperum

on the western façade      the archangel michael grand wings aloft, was weighing souls   and the serpent hissed down      at eve, regal and adam   as thomas the apostle put a hand                 to his brow   and ash wind dusted     …

poetry April 13, 2019

The Changemakers

the pollsters are gleeful         saying                 abbott’s time has come     things, they are about to change around warringah way     cause 28 has finally had his run   and we, the people         better …

poetry April 06, 2019


the upholstery that adorns the lower house                    they called silver-eucalypt green   and when all’s razed to ash after fire season                      the heat     cracks open the seed             …

poetry March 30, 2019


and by the end no one dared to say his name     so we called him          nineteen   because of how they said it all began   that nineteen votes let a man into the halls of parliament who invoked the crimes of nuremberg   whose words …

poetry March 23, 2019

Lenticular Cloud – for Christchurch

across the tasman through a westerly      in ōtautahi, aotearoa   land of the long             white     cloud   lives a tiny creature warbling, flightless   unlike any         endothermic vertebrate   the great spotted kiwi loves …

poetry March 16, 2019

Hotel Alice

        on march 21 the people’s feet thundered seven thousand through the township    of sharpeville chanting izwe lethu come hell or mandela they would fell the passbook laws sixty nine dead without one     dispersion warning wailing …