Haunting & Laughter – Professor Kit Kelen’s One Year Flying Islands Poetry Manuscript Workshop

Course Information
– running from January to December 2024
– minimum of six participants
– maximum of twelve participants
– $500 flat fee (GST free)
– (possibility of a scholarship for a poet of demonstrably limited means, letters of support may be provided for successful applicants wishing to apply to a funding body.)
– certificate on successful completion and transcript available

The workshop is to be conducted:
– online (e-mail, ZOOM, and we may use our own Learning Management System on the Flying Islands website)
– on the phone
– with the possibility of a residential aspect (depending on the location of participants;
– any residential component would likely be conducted in Sydney, Newcastle or Markwell.)

This is a practical workshop that will include:
– regular writing stimuli/readings/exercises
– engagement with a range of forms and styles of poetry from a variety of periods and cultures
– feedback and other forms of response
– individual as well as group discussion
– regular guest poet sessions by ZOOM included throughout the year
– an invitation to daily practice, specifically to write poetry, in conversation with Kit, potentially every day throughout the workshop.

The focus of the workshop will be on the production of book-length collections of poetry by participants.

The theme ‘haunting and laughter’ is not intended as in any way prescriptive or restrictive but rather as a means of suggesting a range of possible engagements with poetry.

Who can apply?
Poets of all levels of experience are encouraged to apply.
Poets not native to the English language are encouraged to apply. (Translation and working between languages can be one of our themes.)
Participation in the workshop is not limited to poets resident in Australia, although the residential potential will probably be enhanced for those who are. Likewise, being in a similar time zone might be helpful.

How to apply
Those wishing to apply to participate in the workshop should send a ten-page sample of their poetry, along with a biographical note and/or cv. This sample of work may (or may not be) accompanied by a descriptive synopsis of the idea for a book of poems. These materials should be sent as an e-mail attachment, in a single word file, the name of which will include the author’s name and ‘application
for FI 2024 workshop’. This file should be sent, with a covering note to KitKelen@emeritus.um.edu.mo.

The deadline for applications is Sunday 1 st October 2023. Successful applicants will be informed in November 2023. No correspondence will be entertained with regard to unsuccessful applications.

All proceeds from the conduct of the workshop are to fund the Flying Islands Poetry Community’s publication of poetry books. No one gets paid for this.

There is no guaranteed prospect of publication associated with participation in the workshop. Acceptance or rejection of an application for the workshop does not imply any qualitative judgement but is rather based on an assessment of whether a particular poet is likely to benefit from participation.

Course Instructor

Kit Kelen Kit Kelen Workshop Leader

About Your Workshop Leader – Christopher (Kit) Kelen, FRSN Emeritus Professor of English (University of Macau)

Christopher (Kit) Kelen is a poet and painter, resident in the Myall Lakes of NSW. Published widely since the seventies, he has more than a dozen full length collections in English as well as translated books of poetry in Chinese (several), Portuguese (several), French, Italian, Spanish, Indonesian, Swedish, Norwegian, Filipino, in Greek – his bilingual (Greek and English) volume a postcard from the fires, a picture of the rains, published by Kaleidoscope in Athens, in 2022. Also in 2022, his bilingual Esperanto-English volume Rompitaj Labirintoj – Bung Mazes was published by the Australian Esperanto Association, to coincide with a painting exhibition of that title held at the Shop Gallery in Sydney. A large scale collection of Kit’s – Swimming in the Storm – has just appeared in Romanian, with launches planned for Romania in early 2023. Kit’s latest volume of poetry in English is Book of Mother, published by Puncher & Wattmann in 2022.

An Anne Elder and ABC/ Bicentennial Award winner in the distant past, in 2017, Kit was shortlisted twice for the Montreal Poetry Prize and won the Local Award in the Newcastle Poetry Prize. In 2019 and 2020 Kit won the Hunter Writers’ Centre award in the NPP. He was also shortlisted for the ACU prize in 2020. In 2021 he won the bronze medal in the Newcastle Poetry Prize. And in 2022 he won the second prize silver medal.

Kit has been writer/artist in Residence in many parts of the world – in Australia, Italy, Sweden, Norway, Spain, Iceland, Finland and Cyprus. A number of these residencies have led to book publications, sometimes multiple – for instance Bundanon time produced his books Time with the Sky and To the Single Man’s Hut. Time at the Messen residency on the Hardanger Fjord produced Poor Man’s Coat and a book in Norwegian entitled Glasfjorden (the glass fjord).

As a visual artist, over the last fifteen years, Kit has has had ten solo painting and drawing exhibitions in Australia, Portugal, Spain, Sweden and Macao.

Emeritus Professor of English at the University of Macau, where he taught for many years, Kit Kelen is also a Conjoint Professor at the University of Newcastle.

In his scholarly writing, Kit has produced a string of books about poetry, the most recent of which is Poetics and Ethics of Anthropomorphism – Children, animals and poetry, published by Routledge in 2022.

In 2017, Kit was awarded an honorary doctorate by the University of Malmo, in Sweden.

Series Editor for Flying Islands Pocket Poets Series, Kit has mentored many poets and translators from various parts of the world, and run a number of on-line communities of practice in poetry (most notably Project 366 [from 2016-2020]). Kit is a Fellow of the Royal Society of NSW. You can follow Kit’s work-in-progress at the Daily Kit – thedailykitkelen.blogspot.com/

By Invitation Only – See Application Process Above


This course does not have any sections.