Two of the Gold Coast most celebrated surfers – Michael Peterson and Joel Parkinson – will be honoured at a new event called Poetry In Motion taking place during Flotsam Festival on the 6th May at Southern Cross University campus theatre.

Filmmaker Simon Saffigna will unveil an ambitious collaboration with writer Daniel Carmichael incorporating poetry, surf film, and live music score.

Carmichael, who penned poetry featured on the stone monument honouring MP at Kirra Point, also wrote a poem commemorating the tenth anniversary of Parkinson’s world title.

Matched with footage from Saffigna’s vault, MP’s poem will be performed as a song by the Mason Rack Band. Joel’s poem will be voiced by the MC and Auctioneer of the night, Mark Warren, followed by Saffigna’s premiere of a 30 minute film. The event will conclude with an auction of signed prints with proceeds going to Surfing the Spectrum and the junior development divisions of all six southern Gold Coast board riders clubs: D’Bah, Snapper, Kirra, Alley, Palm Beach and Burleigh.

Simon Saffigna said, “Surfing in my opinion is one of the purest art forms when performed under the right conditions. It’s like dancing on water. The wave is the canvas and the surfboard the brush.  MP was the master of surf choreography, Parko still is. Poetry in Motion celebrates this.”


Poetry In Motion

Time: 6:00 pm — 8:30 pm

Date: Saturday 6 May, 2023

Where: Southern Cross University Gold Coast Campus


Poetry In Motion: A purpose of graceful fluidity, such that moves with tactful elegance throughout. A noun; abstract yet direct and completely beautiful to all 5 senses.



The Poetry In Motion event is just one of the many local-focus events taking place during Flotsam Festival. Returning for its second iteration, the surf film and photography celebration will run 1-14th May, 2023.


Staged like a giant interactive arts trail, the festival pays homage to the Southern Gold Coast’s world-class surf breaks and iconic coastline through imagery inspired by surf, sand and sea. Programming will include a maelstrom of short film premieres, workshops, in-depth discussions with film makers and photographers, and photographic exhibitions staged both indoor and out. 


Flotsam Festival brings together surfers, filmmakers, photographers and ocean lovers to experience inspiring stories related to surf culture though pop up film and photography events peppering precincts in Burleigh, Palm Beach, Currumbin, Tugun, Kirra and Coolangatta.


The full Flotsam Festival 2023 program is online at: https://www.flotsamfestival.com.au

Poetry In Motion is made possible thanks to the support of the following sponsors.

Foundation Partner: City of Gold Coast

Gold: Live Event Logistics, Ocean Plaza Resort, Marc Neumann

Silver: Rainbow Bay Realty, S&S Group

Bronze: Coolangatta Surf Club, Billabong, JS Industries, Harrison & Harrison


Special Thanks To:

Cr Gail O’Neil, Southern Cross University, Laura Gerber MP, the Peterson and Parkinson families, Allstate Partners, Bewick Boards, Matt Bozina Art, Hammo Surfboards, Studio Pilates, The Surfboard Agency, Ghanda, Dick Hoole, Simon Williams.





About Flotsam Arts

Flotsam Festival is a multi-site film and photography celebration inspired by surf culture. The third annual Flotsam Festival will run from Wednesday 1st May to Sunday 12th May, 2024. Flotsam Festival is presented by Flotsam Arts Inc., a not for profit association formed to create pivotal events that showcase the Gold Coast’s iconic surf culture through photo and film, and to create opportunities for photographic artists to extend their practice through mentorships, workshops and exhibition opportunities.

Flotsam Festival is supported by the City of Gold Coast, Experience Gold Coast, and the Queensland Government through Arts Queensland.

Contact details

Receive exclusive news

Are you a journalist or do you work for a publication?
Sign up and request access to exclusive news.

Request access

Receive Flotsam Arts news on your RSS reader.

Or subscribe through Atom URL manually