Samuel Wagan Watson

Samuel Wagan Watson

Born into a family of raconteurs in Brisbane 1972, Samuel’s poetry has collected numerous accolades and opportunities. His writing is featured in anthologies, public art works, films, and on-board the international space station. Love Poems and Death Threats is his latest collection with University of Queensland Press. He recently won the 2015 Raw Roar Poetry Slam in Wagga Wagga.

'Songline contraband', a new poem by Samuel Wagan Watson

August 2019, no. 413 26 July 2019
'Songline contraband', a new poem by Samuel Wagan Watson
    Vale Aunty Kerry Reed-Gilbert     Long-serving Chair of the First Nations of Australia Writers Network   Authorised visits,temporarily easing Grafton Correctional Centre blues,a young girl walks shadow-hardened corridors to see a black inmate,observe her little brown fingersas wafer thin as the bars that separate thembut with pilot eyes, the only light that shin ... (read more)

'Conversation with a Decommissioned Electric Chair' by Samuel Wagan Watson | States of Poetry QLD - Series Two

States of Poetry Queensland - Series Two 17 October 2017
Circa September, 2015Powerhouse Museum, Sydney I first admired your arms, brown and unrefined like mine, the scars and veins unhidden. Straightback. Strong neck. An inanimate object that would never be caught slouching. I payacknowledgement: you were always professional and executed your charge efficiently...in the end. But what say you of right or wrong? Guilty or not guilty? That you know that ... (read more)

'Forensic, all in one breath...' by Samuel Wagan Watson | States of Poetry QLD - Series Two

States of Poetry Queensland - Series Two 17 October 2017
For my late mentor,(Kumantjayi) Uncle Martin Harrison Be sharply accustomed to the anatomy of your writing; inside and out...Where you haveslivered the bones of your storyline, mark the points of ruin and resurrection ... Count thegouges ... Here is where you lunged ... Careful! ... There was a finely delivered sentence;precise and without mess ... Note any self-inflicted scaring ... Always be su ... (read more)

'Tugullawah' by Samuel Wagan Watson | States of Poetry QLD - Series Two

States of Poetry Queensland - Series Two 17 October 2017
for Aunty Suzie Wilson We’d often give Dad a lift to work along this bent stretch of the river.Maiwar curved here like a boomerang hook. Ghosts that tasted heavyof pork bones hung in the dawn; most of Murrarie had been invaded byK.R. Darling Downs. You would almost hear the unified groan at 5 am,when all the workers formed a single-file; it was our own home-bred Metropolis of slaughter yards an ... (read more)

'When we dreamt like Kerouac' by Samuel Wagan Watson | States of Poetry QLD - Series Two

States of Poetry Queensland - Series Two 17 October 2017
Where Logan Rd and Creek intersect there used to be an oldgas station that looked beat even when it was new. You couldfeed a fuel-pump shiny 20-cent pieces at any hour of the daywhen petroleum was 17-cents a litre. The solid steel rods of thetram lines were stapled into the Earth, under Kagaar Mabul; home of the sleeping echidna mountain, watching over us all.No one needed to own a phone but phone ... (read more)

'Monster (0.2 Reloaded)' a new poem by Samuel Wagan Watson

June-July 2015, no. 372 27 May 2015
I can’t speak my grandmother’s tongue and I’ve never been on my grandfather’s land.  I’ve traveled here and I’ve traveled there, my culture is fabricated in government-funded laboratories … I am Frankenstein of the Dreamtime, I am Frankenstein of the Dreamtime.  Reanimated flesh that once sang natural song-lines, surgically removed my Christian soul and repaired it with Ind ... (read more)