From my home in Australia my poetry expresses my opinions on the state of the world. I wonder who sleeps at night? Who is lucky enough to live in safety and peace? My poetry comments on contemporary issues and questions: war, language, environment, climate and the planet’s health, translation, dislocation, migration, terrorism, border crossings, dissent, gender, protest, human rights, freedoms.
My poetry is informed by my many years working in war zones, in Indigenous communities and on the fringes of heterosexuality.
I want poetry to start conversations, explore the complexities and possibilities of the human condition and articulate a social conscience. I believe poetry is a specific way of knowing, of crystallising the dissonance in the dominant discourses in a way which is accessible to anyone who is driven by a passion for justice and fairness.
I forgo the lyric in favour of the question and the message, and write in whatever form helps to express the issue.
I have published poems in:
- Who sleeps at night … poems by Sandra Renew, (Ginninderra Press, 2017)
- One Last Border: Poems for refugees Hazel Hall, Moya Pacey and Sandra Renew, Ginninderra Press, 2015
- Flood, Fire and Drought edited by Suzanne Edgar, Kathleen Kituai, Sandra Renew and Hazel Hall 2015. This anthology explores the effect of weather events on the Australian landscape showcasing the work of twenty-nine Australian poets with a foreword by Dr Richard Denniss.
- Projected on the Wall poems by Sandra Renew, Ginninderra Press, Pocket Poets series, 2015
- This is why a chap book of poems of protest by Sandra Renew, 2015
- Inventing Siberia poems by Sandra Renew 2014
My tanka and tanka prose have been published in journals internationally and my poetry also appears in journals such as Eureka Street, Right Now, Burley and Scum.
I am grateful for audience and read my poetry at various community events in Canberra such as the National Folk Festival, The Salt Room and Smith’s Alternative.
In 2016 I was invited to read on poetry panels at Smith’s Alternative and the National Folk Festival.
In 2017 I became a founding editor, with Moya Pacey, of Not Very Quiet: an online journal of women’s poetry.
I have been a judge in local Canberra slam poetry competitions (including the ACT Slam Finals 2015), participated in readings in local and community settings such as Noted! Writers Festival Canberra 2015, pop-up venue Gorgeous Mortar and was one of the poet/organisers of the Canberra Poet-A-Thon for Refugees (raising funds for the support of asylum seekers and refugees September 2015).
In 2011 I was short listed for the ACT Writers’ Michael Thwaites Award. Another project, Triage, a chapbook of poems on Afghanistan in collaboration with artist Karen Bailey was launched early in 2014.