Red Room Blog
12th November 2019
Supporting UWAP's fight to stay open
By Red Room Poetry
Red Room Poetry would like to state its full and ongoing support for UWAP and its fight to stay open, as well as for the broader West Australian poetry and writing communities this will affect most.
extinction shows nothing back,
nothing we can learn from,
nothing we can focus on
~ John Kinsella, Red Room Commissioned Poet
We learned last week of the proposed demise of one of the nation's leading poetry publishers, UWAP. Over the years Red Room Poetry has commissioned and worked closely with many Western Australian poets, more recently as part of New Shoots WA where we collaborated with Westerly and City of Perth. Among our list of commissioned poets are leading voices from the UWAP stable including the likes of Richard James Allen, John Kinsella, Tricia Dearborn, Renee Pettitt-Schipp, Quinn Eades, and our 2018 Red Room Poetry Fellowship recipient, Candy Royalle, one of the leading lights of our generation. UWAP was the first imprint to commercially publish Candy's work.
UWAP is central to the ecology of Australian poetry in all of its forms. The above excerpt is from our Extinction Elegies project, a series of poetic commissions responding to endangered and extinct species. UWAP should not be on such a list. The proposal seems counter-intuitive at a time when poetry is showing historical growth in terms of both audiences and readership. UWAP is part of the past, present and very much part of the future poetry landscape in our region. There is nothing to show back through the loss of a publisher who continues to foreground emerging, fringe, returning and local poetic voices.
Red Room Poetry would like to state its full and ongoing support for UWAP and its fight to stay open, as well as for the broader West Australian poetry and writing communities this will affect most. ACT poet Melinda Smith’s petition currently sits at over 6,000 signatures, and many have contacted the UWA Deputy Vice Chancellor, Tayyeb Shah, directly firstname.lastname@example.org. The link to the petition is below, we encourage all to sign and share it. Red Room Poetry stands in unstinting solidarity with UWAP over this decision and believes it should and can be reversed. #SaveUWAP