Rebecca Jessen



New poem in Cordite 88: TRANSQUEER + 2019 Pushcart Prize nomination

I’m thrilled to have a new poem in the TRANSQUEER issue of Cordite, my thanks to the editors (and two of my favourite people/poets) Stuart Barnes and Quinn Eades. The lineup for this issue is incredible, I encourage reading front to back, and then back again!

You can read my poem ‘sillage’ here. This is the first time I’ve (successfully) written a love poem, and I’m pretty stoked to see it sharing digital space with some of my other favourite poets, including Eileen Myles (!), Rae White, Alison Whittaker, Jill Jones, Zenobia Frost, RA Briggs.

Click through and read the entire issue, it’s worth it.

While you’re there check out the poem by Mark Ward, editor of LGBTQ+ online journal Impossible Archetype. My special thanks to Mark for nominating my poem ‘The Weekly’ (published in Issue 4 of Impossible Archetype) for a 2019 Pushcart Prize!! I’m incredibly humbled and thrilled by this nomination. Congratulations to the other Impossible Archetype contributors also nominated: Travis Lau, Emily Holland, Yakov Azriel, SP Mulroy, and Austin Yu.




New poems in 2018 Australian Poetry Anthology and Impossible Archetype

It’s been a good year for poetry publishing! I have two new poems out this month. My cento ‘after-images’ after Dorothy Porter was recently published in the 2018 Australian Poetry Anthology, with thanks to the editors Jill Jones and Bella Li for picking it up. The anthology is a comprehensive survey of what has been published in Australian poetry this year. You can grab your copy here.

I also made my international debut recently, with my poem ‘The Weekly’ getting published in queer poetry journal Impossible Archetype. Once again, happy to share the poetry pages with the always lovely Stuart Barnes.

Edited by Mark Ward, Impossible Archetype is a fantastic collection of diverse and exciting poetry by queer writers from all over. All issues are free so be sure to check out the back-catalogue and considering sharing with friends and fellow poets to support the journal.

Stay tuned for some more poetry publishing news from yours truly very soon!

Upcoming Festival Appearances

Let me tell you about some of the exciting events I have coming up in the next 6 weeks. Firstly, I will be appearing at two events at the Queensland Poetry Festival and I’m so thrilled to not only be a part of the festival again, but to be sharing the stage with so many brilliant poets whom I admire and respect. The event details are below, stay tuned next week for a more detailed post on some of the (many) other QPF events I’m super excited for!

Queensland Poetry Festival: Saturday August 25, 12.30-1.30pm
Radical Imagination:
panel with RA Briggs, Alison Whittaker, and Tricia Dearborn
Is a better new world made more likely by having imagined its existence? Can utopian dreaming help us write into the future rather than against it? In the context of queer utopias, Bec Jessen leads this exploration of imagination as a radical act of healing.

Queensland Poetry Festival: Sunday August 26, 12-12.30pm
The Bachelorette: A Song Cycle: performance with Zenobia Frost
She’s just a girl in Uggs, standing in front of 22 men, asking them to love her. Rebecca Jessen and Zenobia Frost perform their 12-poem epic charting the highs and lows of Sophie Monk’s experience on The Bachelorette 2017. Who really pissed in Jarrod’s pot plant? Was Bardot’s hit Poison referring to toxic masculinity? Who wears the giraffe onesie when you airdrop a dad-millionaire? Watch what happens when two queer poets spend weeks tethering WiFi off their phones to watch a bunch of straight men play to win a woman’s heart. Bring a sick bag.

It’s definitely festival season in Brisbane. I will also be appearing at the Brisbane Writers Festival with esteemed Brisbanites Shastra Deo and Zenobia Frost. We will be on a panel talking all things poetry, the future, and possibly burgers.

Brisbane Writers Festival: Sunday September 9, 10-11am
The Dark and The Light: panel with Shastra Deo, and Zenobia Frost
Three of Brisbane’s leading poets bring to light the contrasting moods in each other’s works. Inspirational, complex, dark, and also vibrant and light, these artists share their insights.

Finally, to round off a busy 6 weeks, I’ll be appearing at the National Young Writers Festival in Newcastle at the end of September. This will be my first time as an artist and attendee of the festival and I cannot wait to spend the weekend by the beach, amongst an amazing bunch of writers. Stay tuned for details of my events after the official program launch on August 31.

National Young Writers Festival: Thursday September 27 – Sunday September 30

Hope to see some of you there!

Reading at ‘Saturdays with Jean Arthur’

I’m happy to report that I’ll be reading some poems at the final ‘Saturdays‘ of the year, this coming Saturday 21st July. It’s always great to see new poetry events popping up in Brisbane (we haven’t yet reached peak poetry). I will be reading alongside the fabulous Raelee Lancaster, Bonny Cassidy, and Anthony Lawrence. The event starts at 2.30pm at the fabulous Can You Keep A Secret? bar in Woolloongabba.  Hope to see you there!

New poem in Rabbit Poetry Journal 24: LGBTQIA+

I’m thrilled to have a poem in the LGBTQIA+ issue of Rabbit Poetry Journal, guest-edited by Michael Farrell. My poem ‘Vote Yes to Pineapple on Pizza’ is a found poem, compiled using media clippings from last year’s horrific postal-survey black hole. Writing this poem allowed me a small but necessary opportunity to take back control over some of the destructive narrative being spun about queer lives, and I’m particularly grateful that it found a home amongst the work of some of my favourite people and poets. There are poems in this issue by: Rae White, Stuart Barnes, Zenobia Frost, Jarad Bruinstroop, Quinn Eades, Jill Jones and so many more!

The issue is a wonderful survey of some of our most exciting up and coming, emerging, established, and all the in-between, queer voices. Go buy a copy and read it cover to cover and then urge someone else to do the same.



New poems in Verity La and Stylus Lit

It has been a productive start to the publishing year with two poems published in the past weeks, and two poems forthcoming in Woolf Pack #10 and Rabbit Poetry Journal LGBTQ+ issue.

The wonderful people at Verity La published my poem ‘Triage’ as part of their incredible Clozapine Clinic, and I got my first publication in Stylus Lit with my poem ‘time-lapse’. I’m thrilled to be sharing pages in these wonderful journals with some of my favourite people and poets, including Shastra Deo, and Stuart Barnes. Make sure you check out the rest of the wonderful poetry on offer while you’re there too!

Catch me at the Digital Writers Festival!


Look Mum, I’m going live on the Internet! I’m so excited to announce that I’ll be participating in this year’s Digital Writers Festival which will run from October 24-November 3.  You can check out the full program here I can tell you now, it is stellar.

The Digital Writers Festival is a product of the Emerging Writers Festival (also stellar) and it brings together writers from all over Australia and the world to beam brilliant content straight to your screens.

I will be performing at the closing night event ‘Manifest’ on Friday 3rd November along with Winnie Dunn, Jesse Oliver, Piriye Altraide, Ben Walter, and Zhi Yi Cham. The theme couldn’t be more perfectly aligned with my current writing and research interests and I’m excited to see where the other writers go with it.

Tune in on the night and watch/listen to me read some poems about lesbian utopias from the comfort of your own bed! Full event details below:

Friday November 3:
 7pm (AEDT) @ Live-streaming to the world!!

What’s next? It’s a new day rising, and the future is in your hands – what are you going to do with it? Six writers explore alternative futures where the possible has become actual. Ending the festival on a hopeful note, come dream with us as we envision the future – embracing the fact that we cannot know it yet, and we therefore have the power to change it.


(after)HER: dating app adventures now online at Cordite Poetry Review

I’m really pleased to have my Val Vallis shortlisted poem ‘(after)HER: dating app adventures’ published online at Cordite Poetry Review. Read it now and share it with all your friends! And make sure you read the other winning and shortlisted poems, because they are all brilliant. Thanks again to the judges Stuart Barnes and Michelle Cahill, Cordite, QPF and Arts QLD ❤

Reading at the QWC Lit Salon this Saturday

This Saturday night I will be reading some new poems at the QWC Lit Salon. The lineup is absolutely stellar, and includes Miles Franklin shortlisted author Emily Maguire, Thomas Shapcott shortlisted poet Mindy Gill, Chloe Callistemon, Tessa Rose, Ben Hobson, and me! It’s also Brisbane Pride day so expect me to read some very queer poems to celebrate! (I was going to anyway).

You can buy your ticket here.


Full venue/time details are below!

QWC Lit Salon – Saturday 23rd September

Red Box, SLQ @ 7.00-8.30pm


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