Our vision is for QPF to become internationally recognised for its flagship poetry festival and events, honouring poetry’s traditions and fostering future voices.

Poetry is one of the most enduring aesthetic and cultural practices of human history with demonstrated continued popularity and relevance to human culture. Especially in Australia, with its legacy of unbroken Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander culture, poetry is born from oral storytelling and song and demonstrates the expressive power of language as both a creative practice and cultural experience.

Queensland Poetry Festival Inc (QPF) is an independent festival and arts organisation, which exists to support, cultivate and promote a vibrant poetry and spoken word culture in Queensland, as well as Australia and beyond. It has operated in its current form as an incorporated entity since 2007.

QPF aims to inspire, entertain, challenge and embrace the wide possibility of poetic expression in all of its forms – page poetry, readings, slam, spoken word, performance, music, ekphrastic poetry, collaborations, installations, cross-platform creations, film and more – to a wide audience. QPF is a flagship poetry and spoken word festival, and an important part of Australia’s annual literary calendar.

With an annual four-day festival plus satellite events held in the last week in August, QPF also curates and administers the following signature projects: Arts Queensland Poetry Awards, Arts Queensland Poet in Residence Program, Indigenous Poet in Residence, Brisbane Poetry Map, SlammED! Schools program, Queensland Heats & Final of the Australian Poetry Slam, and regional tours and events.

Our mission is for QPF to inspire, entertain and challenge audiences by delivering excellence and innovation in all forms of poetry and spoken word.

QPF also partners with various organisations and individuals throughout the year to host a year-long program of launches, workshops and other events.  We welcome enquires from community groups, festivals, libraries and arts organisations looking to connect with poetic practice in Queensland.


1) Excellence
QPF’s work demonstrates excellence in terms of creative process, artistic output, event management, audience engagement and inclusion.

2) Connecting with people
QPF communicates with impact to influence communities, stakeholders, funders and partnerships and strengthen their ability to connect with, participate in and value poetry in all its forms.

3) Being Resilient and Sustainable
QPF has the human, financial and organisational resources to enable it to execute its functions, achieve its goals and invest in the future.


Lucy Nelson, Artistic Director, is the outgoing Artistic Director of Noted Writers Festival and an experienced cultural events producer. She has a passion for the unique ability of festivals to build and strengthen communities and believes wholeheartedly that literature and the arts are vital to our health and wellbeing. Lucy has written non-fiction for the Sydney Morning Herald and the Big Issue and her fiction has been awarded residencies and shortlisted for prizes in Australia and overseas. She has performed at arts festivals and events around the country including the Melbourne Fringe, You Are Here Canberra, Falls Music Festival and was a 2017 finalist in the Moth Story Slam.  Lucy also brings expertise in arts advocacy and strategic communications and has spent the past two years as Marketing Co-ordinator at the Australia Council for the Arts in Sydney. She is terribly excited to learn from the Queensland arts community and to call it her new home.

Michael Peterson, General Manager, has a long standing career within the Arts in Queensland, having previously undertaken operational roles including Deputy General Manager, Woodfordia, which produces Woodford Folk Festival, The Planting Festival, and Festival of Small Halls; Brisbane City Council Team Leader – Creative Sector Investment; Festival Director – Ideas Festival, Queensland Government; and Programme Director – Woodford Folk Festival. In addition, Michael has undertaken strategic consultancy engagements with prominent arts organisations, local government authorities and universities, and previously lectured at QUT in Creative Industries and Arts Management.

Simon Kindt, SlammED! Project Officer
Simon Kindt is a Brisbane poet and teacher who is working on building a youth spoken-word community in Queensland. In collaboration with Chloe Callistemon, he published the collection air / tide in 2014, he published the verse novella no revelation in 2015 and, along with Bill Moran, is co-author of the recently released wreck / age.


In 2017, QPF moved to a new model of programming, with more curatorial artist invitations whilst still maintaining an open Expressions of Interest (EOI) process. QPF now engages volunteer Program Advisors to independently assess all EOI’s, as well as making program and artist suggestions. Read more about our 2018-2019 Program Advisors.


Jade Collins, Chair

Jade Collins is a thought leader and disruptor who is building a gender equal world. She is a Director of Femeconomy.com and has over 19 years’ global experience in corporate executive Human Resources and management consulting roles in the Mining, Energy and Aerospace industries. Jade is a member of the Queensland Government’s Strategic Advisory Group for the Toward Gender Parity: Women on Boards Initiative and is an award-winning entrepreneur.

Gerard Healy, Treasurer

Gerard has been involved in the arts for many years. He performed in a number of plays for the Sunnybank Theatre Company and the Taylor Street Theatre Company. Gerard was Treasurer for the Victorian based Arena Theatre Company and is currently the Treasurer for Clocked Out which is a music ensemble dedicated to contemporary music. Gerard is also the Finance Manager for School of Agriculture and Food Sciences at the University of Queensland.

Jessica Bland, Secretary

Jessica is a lawyer in a national commercial law firm, practising in litigation and dispute resolution. She advises and acts for clients in a number of industries and in relation to a broad range of legal issues. She is passionate about literature and the arts, and, in addition to her law degree, holds a Bachelor of Arts majoring in English literature and history.’

Katherine Webber, Director

Katherine Webber is a practitioner in social planning and community development. Katherine has worked with a range of government and non-government programs in Australia and the Pacific to improve social inclusion, gender equality and community safety. Katherine is passionate about the arts and how it can foster dialogue and support inclusive communities.

Dr Kelli McGraw, Director

Dr Kelli McGraw is a Lecturer in the Faculty of Education at QUT. Currently teaching secondary English curriculum, her prior experience includes teaching high school English and debating in Southwest Sydney, NSW. Kelli researches the fields of secondary school curriculum, teacher identity, digital literacy and children’s literature, presently focusing on the use of project based learning in secondary English. She is the Vice President of the English Teachers Association of Queensland.

Carmel Macmillan, Director 

Carmel is a Non-Executive Director, a Marketing and Business strategist specialist and Principal of CM Strategy Consulting. As a Graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors, Carmel is a member of MS QLD’s Board and is Chair of their Philanthropic Relations Committee and a Director on their Services Committee. She also is a member of two sub committees of the Board for The Mater Foundation. Carmel holds directorship roles for two commercial organisations – Lagberry Pty Ltd and Piovesan Pty Ltd.

Sue Thomson, Director 

Sue has a strong background in marketing, communication, fundraising and development. She has held senior and executive marketing and management roles across public, private and not for profit sectors, delivering integrated marketing communication and development programs in local, domestic and international markets. She is also a casual academic with the UQ Business School, and is passionate about the arts in all its forms.

David Jacobson, Director

David is a commercial and corporate lawyer with 40 years of legal practice experience. He is the principal of Bright Corporate Law. He provides Boards with particular insight regarding governance, risk and compliance issues. He is an experienced Board director and has a long record of providing legal advice to not-for-profits including in the arts sector. David is currently a director of Neurosensory Ltd