Poets Paddock – Natalie D-Napoleon

Welcome to our Poets Paddock feature on the Shipping News.

Too often, it seems, poets are relegated to a Corner in the mainstream media. We think they should be out grazing in a Paddock – in a wider expanse where we can all see and hear their work. Mind you, Homer seems to have broken through the publicity barrier with The Odyssey!

And to be fair, poets, as a group, are not entirely the self-effacing, hiding their lights under bushels types you might think. You don’t have to look too far to find them at work here and there around the greater metropolis of Perth. As it should be!

Just the same, it’s good to shine a light on what our poets are up to. The latest fashions in poetry. The old, the new. The short, the long. That composed for a fireside read, that made for stand-up delivery. That designed to mend a broken heart, that designed to mend the environment.

This week we are pleased to feature local Fremantle poet, Natalie D-Napoleon.

Photo by Brett Leigh Dicks

Natalie has had the most interest of creative careers. Singer-songwriter. Writer. Teacher. Poet. And currently a PhD candidate focussing on erasure poetry.

To learn more about erasure poetry, you will have to listen to our Editor, Michael Barker’s podcast interview with Natalie below!

Natalie has, like most poets one meets, been flirting with poetry since she was young. There’s the inner life experiment, then it blooms in the open.

Discussing poetry, and related things, with her was highly instructive.

Natalie’s poems have won prizes. Prizes perhaps aren’t everything, but they are certainly something, and they often help to get collections published.

In Natalie’s case, her poem First Blood: A Sestina won the 2019 Bruce Dawe National Ppetry Prize. It has now been followed by the publication late last year, by Ginninderra Press, of a beautiful collection of Natalie’s poems, titled First Blood.

You can easily buy a copy of First Blood at New Edition in Central Fremantle, or from Ginninderra Press.

And if you like to connect with Natalie, here’s her Facebook page.

And rather than tease you mercilessly about erasure poetry, here’s a small sample, which you’ll find in First Blood.


Now, settle in and listen to the interview, where Natalie not only discusses her work, but also reads some of her lovely poems so beautifully.