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Poetry and the Archive



Manisha Anjali




Configuring the poet as a historian, this workshop examines the relationship between poetry and the archive. Whether we are exploring colonial documents, prison field recordings, war photographs, letters or family heirlooms, creative archival research is an important process for the poet, often with radical and political illuminations. Poetic language and cultural memory intersect to create new historical documents, which facilitate provoking dialogue between the past and present. How can we responsibly research and work with historical documentation? How do we interrogate silences in the archive, as we consider historical power dynamics – who is in the story, who records it, and how? Bring an archival object to the workshop. This may be printed historical materials, photographs, found objects, letters, periodicals, family trees or an heirloom. We will practice ways of rendering the object into poetic form.
Portrait of Manisha Anjali


You can find details of how Covid-19 restrictions will affect the workshop here: https://writersvictoria.org.au/about-us/covid-19-information/. You are encouraged to wear a mask in the workshop space. The Wheeler Centre’s policy is that close contacts should not attend the building. If you are a close contact of somebody with Covid-19, or have Covid-19 symptoms yourself, please do not attend; please contact [email protected] to arrange a refund in this situation.

You Will Learn:

  • Archival methodology: aspects of creative archival research
  • What to consider when using archival material for poetry
  • How to interrogate silence in the archive and silence in poetic form
  • Methods of rendering aspects of the archive in poetic language
  • Techniques in experimentation with poetic and historical form

About the Tutor:

Manisha Anjali is a writer and artist. She is the author of Naag Mountain (Giramondo 2023). Manisha is the founder of Neptune, a research and documentation platform for dreams, visions and hallucinations. Manisha has been a recipient of BLINDSIDE’s Regional Arts & Research Residency at Mooramong, a Writer-in-Residence at Incendium Radical Library and a Hot Desk Fellow at The Wheeler Centre.  

Not a Member?

Members of Writers Victoria receive up to 37% off the full price of our workshops, seminars and courses. In addition, members have access to a range of other discounts and opportunities and receive a subscription to 'The Victorian Writer' magazine. Memberships start from just $50. Find out more about becoming a member here.

Book early to access our early bird prices! These expire 9 days before the course begins. Please keep in mind that our workshops require a minimum number of participants to run, so booking early also helps ensure that a workshop will go ahead. 

Cancellation Policy


The Wheeler Centre
176 Little Lonsdale Street
Victoria 3000 Australia


Phone: (03) 9917 8463
Email: [email protected]

Registration for this event ended on 01 September 2023 - 4:00
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