Pigeon Poetry Project

The latest literary project that I’m participating in:

The Red Room Company in Sydney has commissioned eight poets from across the country to each write a poem that will be raced by thoroughbred pigeons on August 3, 2008.

Visit the website online to read my poem “A Word From the Feral Pigeon” and back my pigeon Smokey to win in the online, virtual sweep!

If you’re so inclined, come along to the pigeon race in Stanwell Tops on Sunday August 3 to hear poetry read live. I’m sadly overseas at the time so can’t make it myself… But check it out.


From the website: “And they’re off! Mark down Sunday August 3 on your sporting calendar, as the Pigeon Poetry race takes Bald Hill, Stanwell Tops by a sweeping flurry of wings and words. From 12 noon, hear the eight poems commissioned for Pigeon Poetry read live. Eye off the form of the bards and birds, and place your free bet in the sweep to win poetry prizes and glory. The race will begin at 1.00 sharp, swooping from NSW‘s premier hang-gliding launch area, to the breeders’ headquarters in Mt Ousley. Bring your twitcher’s binoculars to follow the race call, as a pigeon-cam feeds the action live to the launch site. Then it’s time to throw off the fascinators, pop those corks and celebrate the grand presentation of the Pigeon Poetry Cup.”


It’s been a fun project to participate in. I’m only sorry that I can’t be there for the event. I love the concept. It’s creative and fun. I’ve never been commissioned to do a single poem before. This Saturday I’m going into the studio to do an interview with Johanna Featherstone, the director of Red Room, and read the poem – and I’m also heading to Central Station on Thursday afternoon to have a photo taken with poet Kate Fagan and some pigeons.

Here’s a taste of the poem itself (just the start of it, you have to visit the website for the rest…)

prologue: feather

The quill and shaft, the side branches
attached by barbules and hamuli
the barbs together: the vane.
Evolved as insulation structure
or mating markers, considered
only a secondary purpose: flight.

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