Newcastle-born poet Claire Albrecht is part of an international trend placing poetry as the fastest growing literary medium - a growth that is being led by young adults, women and culturally diverse people.
Last month, Claire was announced as the 2019 Emerging Writers' Festival Fellow, which will see her spend about six weeks at the State Library Victoria exploring rare and one-off artist books.
The daughter of an eco-philosopher father and literature-loving mother, books were a formative part of Claire's upbringing.
"We had everything from children's literature, to amazing 20th century literature, to more contemporary works. Russians, Germans, Americans, British - it was all there," she says.
"I was never at a loss to find anything to read, and really enjoyed reading from a young age."
After finishing her undergraduate degree at University of Technology Sydney (UTS) Claire took a few years off to "swim at the beach, sell sushi and get drunk all the time", before making the decision to return to study at the University of Newcastle.
"It was a special time but I realised after a while I hadn't written anything because no one was telling me to, which it turns out, is an important part of my creative practice," she laughs.
Claire is now part way through a PhD in Poetry under the supervision of poet Dr Keri Glastonbury and fine artist Dr Deidre Brollo.
As part of her PhD, Claire is working towards a book of poetry called 'hand shake' that will explore themes of poetry/photography and sex/politics.
The support, and perhaps coercion, of structured study has also influenced Claire to go on to successfully submit to publications across Australia.
She has been published in the Cordite Poetry Review, Overland Literary Journal, Plumwood Mountain, The Suburban Review, Australian Poetry Anthology - just to name a few.
Last year Claire released a small book of poetry, pinky swear, as part of the Slow Loris chapbook series. She featured alongside local poets Dr Trisha Pender, Kerri Shying and Kait Fenwick.
Pinky swear is frank and at times brassy, yet somehow manages to be concurrently sincere.
Woven throughout the book are musings of a romantic dalliance with Putin, ruminations on modern anxiety, The Sims 4 and orgasms.
For Claire, examining the power dynamics within sex and politics has been a compelling way to humanise, or equalise, the great political powers of our time.
"When I write about politics I can't help but put some kind of sex into it," she says.
"Maybe as a way to introduce control, or to bring back some kind of control that's been taken away from me.
"If I can use politicians as sex objects, I own them in a way that I won't allow them to own me.
"Beneath it all they all just have these naked bodies," she says.
In her exploration of image and text, Claire is hoping to strike upon something previously unseen in her work.
"I'm trying to use the medium of photography and poetry to explore different layers of metaphor and meaning that might not come out if it were only my poems," she explains.
Claire notes that Newcastle has been a fertile ground for her development as a poet.
"I really love Newcastle's creative scene - the writing scene is really supportive," she says.
"We have a really large number of poetry reading events ... most weeks there is something you can go to."
Joining the ranks of local events such as Word Hurl Anti Slam, Girls on Key, Poetry in the Pub and Heart Open, Claire has also brought her own monthly poetry event, Cuplet, to Hamilton.
"Cuplet has changed my life," she says.
"I was travelling to Sydney about once a month to attend poetry events...cut to a year down the track and we've had most of Australia's best poets in Newcastle, on Beaumont Street, just hanging out reading their poems."
Claire believes the trend towards poetry will continue.
"It's a lot more accessible for people to see and read the kind of poetry that they connect with," she says.
"Especially since poetry now is trying to deal with issue of identity, politics, gender and environment in ways that people want to share and replicate.
"They want to have their commentary on the world and they feel that can do it through poetry.
"For me - writing poetry makes me understand things about myself and the world that I wouldn't be able to articulate in any other way"