Lou Smith

Lou Smith is a Melbourne-based poet of Welsh, Jamaican and English heritage who grew up in Newcastle, NSW. Her poetry has been published in journals and anthologies both in Australia and overseas including Wasafiri, Mascara Literary Review, A Slow Combusting Hymn, Overland, The Caribbean Writer, Nine Muses Poetry, sx Salon, Soft Surface, and Caribbean Quarterly. Her book riversalt was published by Flying Islands in 2015.

Lou has worked as an editor and proofreader and was the co-founder of independent publisher Breakdown Press, publishers of political poster series and books such as How to Make Trouble and Influence People: Pranks, Hoaxes, Graffiti and Political Mischief-Making from Across Australia and YOU: some letters from the first five years.

She is currently working on a number of writing projects including two new books of poetry, one of which is set in her hometown of Newcastle during the Great Depression.

Lou has a PhD in creative writing from the University of Melbourne where she sometimes teaches.

Links: lousmith.net

Flying Islands Pocket Poet Publication


In National Library of Australia

Weaving stories of migration, colonisation, and diaspora, riversalt follows my own family’s patterns of migrations from North Wales, England, and Jamaica, to Newcastle, Australia, where I grew up. Inspired by all manner of things including literature, science, personal stories, folklore, and artworks, in the poems we journey through these locations on foot, by car, boat and by plane. The poems in riversalt are both personal and historical, contemplating notions of memory, ‘home’, and belonging, in a meditation on the meaning of ‘place’.

Thanks so much to Tim Ungaro for creating the awesome cover collage from maps of my hometown of Newcastle, NSW, and Rahima Hayes for taking the author photograph so early in the morning!

A huge thank you to Tony Birch for launching riversalt in Melbourne at Brunswick Bound bookshop, and Anwen Crawford for launching the book at The Press Book House in Newcastle.

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