Taking a page from the book of great writers who find inspiration in the everyday, Swinburne Alumna Clare Millar has been chosen as one of Melbourne City of Literature’s Poet Laureate for August 2020.
Clare’s poem, ‘Drummond St with Baird’s Phosphorescence’, has been recognised for the insightful reflections and exploration of the change in our daily lives under COVID-19.
Melbourne’s UNESCO City of Literature Office documents the work of a new poet each Saturday including reflections about the here and now, the global and distant, and the past and the future. The initiative will continue through for the rest of 2020.
Connection to industry
Clare recently graduated in 2019 with a Bachelor of Arts (Professional), majoring in Professional Writing and Editing and Creative Writing and Literature. As part of Swinburne’s Work Integrated Learning program, Clare’s industry placement experience landed her a role as a student advisor to Editors Victoria.
“We had so many speakers from literary journals and festivals that I knew these opportunities were available if you give it a go.”
Swinburne’s connection to industry and clear frameworks present opportunities for students to participate in their field of study, including partnerships with the Emerging Writers Festival and the Australian Short Story Festival.
Clare was supported in her studies at Swinburne by a network of staff and peers, including Media and Communication Senior Lecturers in Writing, Dr Carolyn Beasley and Dr Julia Prendergast, and PAVE and Professional Writing and Editing Teacher and Coordinator, Spiri Tsintziras.
"Clare was always a really engaged and passionate student and I think that’s one of the reasons she’s done so well in her post-graduation career. She took advantage of a lot of the networking and extra curricula activities that we run like editing our literary journals, submitting to our publication opportunities, reading at open mic events, and volunteering for the various festivals we partner with," Dr Beasley said.
Clare agrees. “They encouraged my work and shaped my creative thinking in many ways, and I'm always inspired by their commitment to their crafts and to their students.”
Clare’s next chapter
In 2020, Clare’s Melbourne-based career in the literary sphere now includes juggling the roles of writer, editor and bookseller at Readings in Hawthorn and St Kilda.
“In the future I would like to be working as an editor in a small publishing house – especially working with children’s books, as well as a freelancer too.”
Clare will be judging the 2020 Hachette Australia Prize for Young Writers, as well as holding the role as Chair of the 2021 Readings Children’s Book Prize. Clare also currently works as part of the editorial committee at Voiceworks, editing poetry and works of nonfiction.
“I think writing will always be a method of searching for social justice, pushing for change, and telling stories that need hearing.”
To view Clare’s future endeavours, visit her website featuring her current and future works.