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TED is a non-profit, US-based enterprise aimed at the propagation of 'Ideas Worth Spreading'. TED started out in 1984 as a conference bringing together people from Technology, Education and Design. Since then its scope has amplified. Aside from the annual TED conferences in Long Beach and Oxford, there are now a series of global parallel events under the banner of TEDx. TEDx events are locally organised events structured along the lines of the original TED events. Johanna Featherstone from the Red Room was asked to gather a range of Australian poets to showcase the depth of contemporary Australian poetry. Johanna invited Eytan Messiah, Jill Jones, Lionel Fogarty and Lisa Gorton, and they gave some beautiful readings and performances.

1:30 - Jill Jones & Benezra

3:30 - Lionel Fogarty & Lisa Gorton

Benezra (Eytan Messiah) is a prolific poet and songwriter, and has recently released the vinylPurple Rouge with his band The Broadside Push. He has performed around Australia, including at the Sydney Opera House, the Sydney Festival and a solo show at the MCA.

Jill Jones’ most recent book is Dark Bright Doors (Wakefield Press, 2010). She won the Kenneth Slessor Poetry Prize in 2003 and the Mary Gilmore Award in 1993. In 2009 she co-edited with Michael Farrell, an anthology, Out of the Box: Contemporary Australian Gay and Lesbian Poets (Puncher and Wattmann). She lives in Adelaide.

Lionel Fogarty A Murri man, Fogarty is a leading spokesman for Indigenous rights in Australia, particularly deaths in custody following the death of his brother, Daniel Yock, at the hands of police in 1993. His poetry expresses the need for innovation and urgency. In doing so, it is sometimes surreal, sometimes confronting and includes large amounts of Bandjalang dialect and vernacular.

Lisa Gorton lives in Melbourne. Her first poetry collection, Press Release, was shortlisted for the Melbourne Prize Best Writing Award and the Mary Gilmore Award, and won the Victorian Premier’s Prize for Poetry. Lisa completed a doctorate at Oxford University on John Donne’s poetry and prose, winning the John Donne Society Award for Best Publication in Donne Studies. She received the inaugural Vincent Buckley Poetry Prize. Her novel for children, Cloudland, was one of The Age 2009 books of the year.