‘The Forest’ and ‘Icy Fruit’ Published in ‘Our Home is Dirt by Sea’ Anthology

Anna was excited that her poems ‘The Forest’ and ‘Icy Fruit’ were selected by Di Bates for Our Home is Dirt by Sea (Walker Books), an anthology of poetry for children. Below are her poems.

The Forest

Silent as a mosquito whine just beyond hearing.

A lizard lies languid, tastes the air with its thick blue tongue.

A goanna runs up a gum tree, claws digging into bark.


A scrub turkey dashes across the path.

I sit on the timber seat halfway up the mountain,

careful of the red-back’s nest underneath.


Leaves dance with the first drops of rain. Birds call out.

A tree dribbles sap, sticky as honey. The downpour starts—

I am drenched in the forest’s earthy scent.

First published in Our Home is Dirt By Sea, Walker Books 2016


Icy Fruit, Published in Our Home is Dirt by Sea Anthology (Walker Books) 2016
Icy Fruit, Published in Our Home is Dirt by Sea Anthology (Walker Books) 2016

Shortlist – Queensland Premier’s Young Writers and Publishers Award

Anna was thrilled to be shortlisted for the Queensland Premier’s Young Writers and Publishers Award at the 2016 Queensland Literary Awards. To be eligible for the awards, applicants had to be 30 or under and demonstrate a track record of work as a writer and a publication history. Applicants were also asked to submit a portfolio of writing and a CV.

The judges’ comments were: ‘Anna is a tremendously talented young poet and the judges were moved by the warmth of her poetry and the gentle touch with which she executes it. Her poetry on domestic spaces, familial relations, the rituals of food and Jewishness make hers a unique voice.’

Queensland Writers Centre Access Fund

Anna was grateful to be selected for a Queensland Writers Centre Access Fund in 2016. This enabled her to attend and participate in the Year of the Memoir course, with workshops held all day once a month, from February – June run by author Kari Gislason. During this time, Anna wrote the draft of her memoir ‘How to Knit a Human’. An extract of ‘How to Knit a Human’ was shortlisted for the the 2016 Scribe Non Fiction Prize.

Poem in 2016 Short and Twisted Anthology, Celapene Press

Anna was excited that her poem ‘Wilt’ was selected to be part of the 2016 Short and Twisted Anthology, published by Celapene Press. Her poem was inspired by her photography series Wilt, that documented flowers her mother had kept.


My mother keeps flowers until they wilt.

Late at night she picks out the drooping stems—

she tells me her mother did the same.

My father brings home a bunch for Rosh Hashanah.

By the third week, only one remains. Two months pass

and we check it’s not a plastic one thrown in by mistake,

by pressing on the petals with our fingernails,

leaving crescent marks. Three months pass

and my mother continues to change the water.


Four months pass and it mutates, edges expanding.

One night, the vase shatters. We sweep up the glass, wrap

shards in newspaper, eye the flower warily. Soon it takes

up the kitchen bench. The petals are big enough to cover

our round wooden table. We pull off the petals and use them

as tablecloths. Heirlooms to hoard in the linen cupboard.

Poem First Published in Short and Twisted Anthology 2016, Celapene Press



Semi-Finalist Gender Gaze Exhibition, Brisbane Festival 2016

I am a semi-finalist in the Gender Gaze Exhibition as part of the 2016 Brisbane Festival. The exhibition runs from 15-24 September at Metro Arts. The photograph being exhibited is ‘Tea Party: Anna’s-28th-and-a-half-year birthday pantomime’ and my artist statement reads: ‘I decided to stage a tea party with my childhood toys. While it was fun, the process also raised questions about gender roles and repeating learned behaviours.’

As part of being a semi-finalist my photograph was also shown on a Billboard!

Anna on a Billboard

Shortlisted for the Lord Mayor’s Photographic Awards 2016

Anna was shortlisted for the 2016 Lord Mayor’s Photographic Awards for her photograph ‘The Poets at Below Deck’.

Below Deck was once a month from April 2015 – April 2016 and run by poet Sophie Tarrant. Within this space, chalk drawings adorned the walls together with an assortment of old paintings and objects. When filled with a mixture of dazzling poets amid low lighting, the event burst with atmosphere.

Photographers were asked to submit images that reflected Brisbane’s creative lifestyle.

‘Word OCD’ Poem Published in Tincture Journal

My poem ‘Word OCD’ was selected for publication in Tincture Journal, Issue 13, Autumn 2016.

Word OCD

She collects words in snap-lock packets

so they won’t go stale. Each word

in its individual packet, each word

precious. She runs her fingers over the plastic

and stops; one of the snap-lock seals is half-open.


So she melts some butter in the pan, dips

the word in egg and fries it.


When the butter bubbles the edges crispy,

she turns it onto the plate. Divides the letters up.

‘Don’t play with your words,’ her mother says.

‘Eat it up, go on.’ So she spears a letter,

now yellow-grey with yolk and ink, onto her fork.


It hovers mid-air and she knows that if she takes

a bite, the letter ‘J’ will fishhook-stick in her throat.

Instead she wraps it all up, hides it

in the back of the freezer.

For later.


First published in Tincture Journal, Issue 13, Autumn 2016

Word OCD

‘Release’ Poem published in ‘One Page Brisbane’

My poem ‘Release’ was selected for publication in One Page Brisbane, Volume 2: Issue 1, Heat and Waves 2015.



That afternoon in the Brisbane heat

she jumped fully clothed

from the timber bridge

straight into water —


Splashed in the current and let

the cool seep into her bones

drag her down briefly —


Let the water

release her from its muddy

lungs back into the land

of the living.


First published in One Page Brisbane, Volume 2: Issue 1, Heat and Waves, 2015