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 June 15, 2019

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

Ricochet

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

Winter

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

Ritual

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

Royal

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

Proximity

– 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

Rapture

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 …