Maxine Beneba Clarke
is 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 June 22, 2019

Things about dying

in my home state, now, by law                 those leaving us can tread gently: usher themselves towards the light in the dignity they see fit   and i can’t remember all of their names they and i were strangers                …

Poetry June 15, 2019


first, the Ministry of Truth doctored language their words weaponry, loaded and aimed: asylum seekers became illegals they said detention centres, not jails   then the Ministry of Peace           tweaked the …

Poetry June 08, 2019


baked redbrick,    in the darwin heat dry palms whisper,    in the stifling breeze   bloke says                mate, we were sure it was fireworks   ruddy face shock-blank,    mouth set grim                   …

Poetry May 25, 2019


silence,                   all across the mourning fog     dark winter has descended     birds flee to warmth from branches, gnarled   and hope                    drifts on the wind   crisp leaves                 …

Poetry May 18, 2019


so we’ll go to the polls         lined round winter street corners pushy leafleteers         shoving how-tos in our hands   we’ll elbow past smiling placards         and straight-talking spruikers still wearied with the bickering   …

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     …