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The Poet-in-Residence ProgramThe Wetlands Centre welcomes Lakshmi, our resident poet!

It gives us great pleasure to welcome our new Poet-in-Residence, Lakshmi Kanchi, at the Wetlands Centre Cockburn!

Lakshmi Kanchi, pen name SoulReserve, is an emerging Western Australian poet of Indian descent. Her poetry explores love and its tumultuousness, fantasy and zest in nature, and allegories that provoke thought and evoke tender feelings. Her writing anatomises the complex linkages between nature, history, language, culture and perception.

Lakshmi is the recipient of the 2021 Pocketry Prize for Unpublished Poets, and her poem "Watermarks" was shortlisted for the South Coast Writers Centre's 2022 Poetry Prize. She is also a Centre for Stories fellow. Her published works appear in—'Portside Review', 'Saltbush Review', 'Across Vast Horizons', 'Poetry d'Amour – 2019 & 2020', 'Letters To Our Home', 'Recoil 12', 'Blue Bottle Journal', 'Burrow Journal', 'Brushstrokes II', and 'Creatrix.'

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Lakshmi is a familiar face at the Centre. She has been a long-time volunteer, participating in our events, conferences, Get Wild About Wetlands school holiday programs, and sausage sizzle fundraising drives at Bunnings.


This is a community-focused project that is open to one and all.


As a poet-in-residence, Lakshmi will be available at the Centre every Thursday from 9 am to 4 pm to discuss matters and answer your questions on poetry, eco-poetics, and writing for the environment. There is also a calendar full of exciting events planned for the year, including poetry workshops, poetry readings, online events, an anthology of community-sourced poetry, and an interactive poetry installation at the wetland precinct.

This program is funded by

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In partnership with

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Supported by

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The Inaugural Function

On 30th May 2022, we inaugurated this
unique art-meets-nature community initiative

We had an inaugural function last week, celebrating poetry at the Centre and welcoming Lakshmi into her new role. The event showcased poetry readings by seven award-winning poets, including—Natalie D-Napolean, Miriam Wei Wei Lo, Lisa Collyer, Nandi Chinna, Colin Young, Peter Jeffery OAM, and Danny Gunzburg. Many dignitaries graced the occasion, including—Tom Perrigo, Chair of the Wetlands Centre Board, Blake Inness, Chair of the WA Poets Inc Board, and Lynn MacLaren, a former MLC of WA, amongst other community leaders. It was an enjoyable evening that spoke about why poetry and culture are crucial to our work here at the Centre.

Please look for further information on our website and socials—Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram. We invite you to participate in the unfolding calendar of events—creating and enjoying poetry, and re-acquainting yourself with this unique heritage site at Bibra Lake in the lush heart of the Beeliar Regional Park.

Thanks to the Department of Local Government, Sport and Cultural Industries (DLGSC) and Lotterywest for funding the position and for making this community initiative possible. Also, thanks to the City of Cockburn and WA Poets Inc. for supporting this initiative. And to our board and members at The Wetlands Centre Cockburn for their continual support.

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