Ethos and Objectives
Flying Islands Poetry Community is a non-profit organisation dedicated to the production and dissemination of poetry (and related art practices) from the Hunter Region of NSW and also from around the world. A safe local/global place for creative practice, Flying Islands’ emphasis is on fostering co-operation and collaboration among poets (and artists and translators) from the widest possible range of cultural backgrounds. Based physically in Australia, on the lands of the Worimi/Birpai people, Flying Islands is also a virtual and cosmopolitan entity, established on the principle that poetry and poets should not be divided by national or by language barriers. Flying Islands strives in all its activities to practise inclusiveness and to encourage diversity. Not a clique or cabal or a stable, rather this community is an expanding circle for poetry of many kinds – for an expanding circle of friends who share poetry. With the activity of art-making central to its efforts, Flying Islands particularly aims to bring experienced and new poets together on-and off-line, through mentoring, art events of various kinds, workshops, blogs, websites, readings, launches and, most importantly, through the ongoing publication of the Flying Islands Pocket Poets series.
The Flying Islands Pocket Poets series originated as a simultaneous entity in Markwell, NSW and Macao, China, through the work of Professor Christopher (Kit) Kelen. Running since 2010 (in association with the Macao-based community publisher, ASM), Flying Islands has published more than eighty volumes, with authors from all over the world, but more from Australia and China than from anywhere else. While most have been English-only collections, the series regularly includes translated bilingual parallel-text volumes (mainly Chinese and English, but also involving translation from French, Indonesian, Filipino, Lithuanian, Spanish, Portuguese, Swedish, Norwegian, Romanian and Bosnian). As a non-profit community publisher, Flying Islands has, since inception, kept its RRP for pocket book sales at A$10. These books that magically appear out of pockets are part of a gift and exchange art-economy. They are our currency! What they contain is priceless.