Hayley Elliott-Ryan is a PhD candidate, and a tutor in literature and creative writing at Deakin University. She’s the founder of WORDLY magazine and has been shortlisted for the Right Now poetry prize and the Judith Rodriguez Writing Award. When she’s not writing you can find her hanging out on jetties catching squid.

Inhabiting commercial fishing industries through poetry


This is a pilot paper, and the beginning of a much larger exploration of the genre, which seeks to map fisherpoetry in three ways: first, performing a review of the literature on fisher-poets, and then taking up Han’s definition of the ‘hospitable listener’, and Deleuze and Guattari’s notion of a ‘minor literature’, it works towards defining the genre. It then moves on to consider fisherpoetry as a mode of communication, that is a kind of functional tool used by fishermen to establish community via the ship radio. Developing this idea further I assess how women and queer fisherpeople have been able to use poetry to gain representation in an already under-represented culture and lifestyle.

Keywords: Fisherpoetry – ship radio – listening – spoken word – minor literature – poetry