Free, no booking required.


Sun 20 Mar
12:00 pm - 12:30 pm
Performance one
Sun 20 Mar
1:00 pm - 1:30 pm
Performance two


National Gallery of Victoria, Saint Kilda Road, Melbourne VIC, Australia


Accessible bathroom All Gender bathroom Assistance Animals welcome Auslan Interpreted Wheelchair Access

About Bella Li and The National Gallery of Victoria

Performing Poetics: Modern Woman Past Event

Presented by Bella Li and The National Gallery of Victoria

Modern Woman is a collaborative, site-based work—part poetry reading, part theatre—centring on the representation and performance of gender. Responding to the quasi-domestic composition of objects on display in the 17th to 18th Century European Paintings Gallery, and taking cues from Jean Genet’s The Maids, the work showcases poets with recent publications from three independent presses—Cordite Books, Slow Loris and Vagabond Press.

This event is part of the Melbourne Art Book Fair highlight program Performing Poetics.

Bella Li Speaker

Bella Li is the author of Argosy (Vagabond Press, 2017), which won the Victorian Premier’s Award for Poetry and the NSW Premier’s Award for Poetry, Lost Lake (Vagabond Press, 2018), shortlisted for the Judith Wright Calanthe Award, and Theory of Colours (Vagabond Press, 2021).  

LK Holt Speaker

LK Holt’s latest poetry collection, Capacity, is out this year from Vagabond Press. Her book Birth Plan was shortlisted for the 2020 Prime Minister’s Award for Poetry and the 2020 Victorian Premier’s Award for Poetry. She is the recipient of the NSW Premier’s Award for Poetry and the Grace Leven Prize, and has been longlisted for the Australian Literature Society’s Gold Medal. She lives in Narrm/Melbourne. 

Ursula Robinson-Shaw Speaker

Ursula Robinson-Shaw is a writer living in Narrm/Melbourne. Her work has appeared in Overland, Australian Poetry Journal, Best of Australian Poems, Best New Zealand Poems, and elsewhere. She is co-director of sick leave, a reading series and journal. 

Lucy Van Speaker

Lucy Van writes poetry and criticism. She has been a writer in residence at Overland (2019–2020), and a Melbourne Research Fellow at the University of Melbourne (2018–2019). Her recent publications include a long-form essay about Australia, southeast Asia, and the possibilities of decolonial travel (Katipunan), and a discursive study of the reality television program, House Hunters International (Liminal Book Review). Her major research project is directed towards the forthcoming title, The Beginning of the Poem. Her first poetry collection is The Open (Cordite 2021). 

Related Events

Performing Poetics

PRESENTED BY The National Gallery of Victoria
18 - 20 Mar (5 sessions)