Cameron Semmens

Poet, Entertainer and Poetry Educator

Brief Bio:

Cameron is a Melbourne-based, award-winning poet and performer, with 15 books and 4 CDs of his poetry published to date. He makes his living through words: running workshops, writing books and performing live throughout Australia. Cameron is a 'Vision Artist' with World Vision Australia. He lives in the Dandenong Ranges with his 2 young children.

For high-quality promo photos of Cameron for use in publications and media, download the media pack.

This is what Cameron has to offer the world:

  1. Poetry performance
  2. Poetry workshops
  3. Book design and layout

1. Poetry Performance

Cameron is a highly experienced and award winning performance poet. Doing on average 50 gigs a year at a wide range of venues and events, for adults and kids alike. So, if you're looking for thoughtful, meaningful entertainment – Cam’s your man!

2. Poetry workshops:

Cameron regularly runs poetry workshops for children, teens and adults. So, if you're looking for a poet to inspire and enable others – get onto him! For teachers: go to the Schools Poetry Workshops page. For aspiring writers: check out the Gigs page for workshops he himself is putting on.

3. Book design and layout:

Cameron has recently branched out into book design and layout. He can help you with physical book layout, eBook layout and cover design for both. For details click on the Publishing tab above.

A Short History of Cameron Semmens:

Born and raised in Hobart, Tasmania, Cameron was a quiet and shy child who did not excel at school. Interestingly, he didn't even pass English in Year 12, even though he enjoyed it.

As a teenager he discovered a love for words and a surprising capacity for public speaking which soon flaring into performance poetry. Also, at this time, he developed a passion for truth and spirituality, which bloomed into Christian faith. Both have become defining elements of his life.

In 1994 he published his first book of poems, Splat, a spirited selection with lots of youth appeal (and plenty of pimple poems) encouraged and enabled by his church community.

In 1995 he was offered a scholarship to study Acting at The Australian College of Entertainment (ACE). He took the offer and moved to Sydney. This afforded Cameron an incredible opportunity to develop his performance skills, and explore his potential as a creative communicator. He was also honoured to win numerous student awards, including Actor of The Year, Scriptwriter of The Year and Overall Student of the Year.

Over the following years he developed a reputation as a popular, entertaining poet winning several poetry competitions around Sydney and doing many performances and workshops. During this time he 'kept his day job' - working as a professional carer for people with disabilities.

In 2006 Cameron moved to Melbourne. His poetry and performance career blossomed, and for the first time, he was able to make a full living from his art-form.

Cameron now lives in the Dandenong Ranges, on the bushy outskirts of Melbourne, with his two young children Spencer and Mieka.

Strange Titbits and Quirky Facts about Cam:

  • He was dragged into a political media frenzy by the British Tabloids when he had the same domain name as David Cameron, the Prime Minister of UK: webcameron – but he as the DOT COM!
  • He performed in Government House, Canberra, for Prime Minister Rudd the week he got ousted, while literally rubbing shoulders with future Prime Minister Abbott. Weirdness!
  • His wife tried to sell him on eBay. She pitched him as a poet that people could become a patron of for 1 year for $25,000. No-one bought it.
  • He jumped 5m 35cm to come 3rd in the division 2 Inter-high school long-jump in Grade 9 (his greatest sporting triumph!).
  • His uncle crocheted a vest for Kate Ceberano. Trueness!
  • 15% of his first published book was about pimples. Pop!
  • He wrote his first poem (outside of the classroom) about a gherkin sandwich. Yum… and dumb.

BIBLIOGRAPHY: (all books are poetry-based)

Memoir:

  • The Poetry of Home: The Heartscaping and Hope-shaping of Cameron Semmens, 2013
  • Through the Lover's Window: The Trials and Treasures of Love and Loving, 2008

Social justice:

  • Ice Skating in The Taj Mahal: A Totally NON-depressing Look at Poverty, 2014
  • Random Cow: How India Changed Me, 2012
  • Give a Man a Fish: Making a Difference and Being The Difference, 2010

Christian resource:

  • Love is The New Black - 3rd Edition, 2013
  • The ZOO in YOU: Faith Lessons on The Wildness Within, 2011
  • Love is The New Black: (2nd Edition of 23 Versions, repackaged and retitled), 2010
  • 23 Versions of Psalm 23: and other Creative Christian Resources, 2009
  • The Theologast: Profound Wonderings on The Sacred, The Self and The Seemingly Certain, 2007
  • 26 Tales from The Testaments: An Alliterated Bible Passage in Every Letter of The Alphabet, 2005

Children's books:

  • Star! Stable! Saviour!, 2015
    (re-title and re-issue of The Story of The Star, The Stable and The Saviour)
  • Water, Wine and a Wonderful Wedding, 2008
  • The Story of The Star, The Stable and The Saviour, 2007

General:

  • A Brief History of Time with Cake: Poems about Space and Recipes for Cake, 2016
  • 10 Poems that could really help you through a tough spot, 2015
  • Jesus, Gandhi and Hitler walk into a Poem: Stories of Famous People Turning Up in Weird Places, 2014
  • Rant: The High Performance Poems of Cameron M Semmens, 2005
  • Children of an Idle Mind: Poems, 1998
  • Splat: Scintillating Poetry Laughable and Torturous, 1994

DISCOGRAPHY:

  • The Poetry of Home - Soundtrack: (digital), 2013
  • Random Cow - Soundtrack: (digital), 2012
  • 10 Tales: CD, 2007
  • Rave: CD, 2005

With Rod Gear and Michael Carney under the name 'Chevalet':

  • The Sacred Set: DVD, 2008
  • Cute Girls Love to Crochet: CD, 2008
  • A Souvenir of Sadness and A Bottle of Bliss: CD, 2007

COMPETITION ACCOLADES:

    2014 Poem accolades:

  • Thylacine SilenceWINNER of The Woorilla Poetry Prize 2015.
  • 2014 Book accolades:

  • The Poetry of HomeWINNER of The CALEB Prize 2014, poetry section.
  • Love is The New BlackSHORT-LISTED for Australian Christian Book of The Year.
  • 2014 Poem accolades:

  • Whispers in The Language of Touch – FAWQ competition WINNER
  • The Water’s AliveWINNER of the Marked Art prize.
  • I Saw a Man DieLONG-LISTED for The Joanne Burns Prose Poem Award.
  • Fragile – Handle with CareLONG-LISTED for The Waterbrook Literary Prize, as part of The Lane Cove Literary Award 2014.

PREVIOUS ACCOLADES:

  • The ZOO in YOU - Shortlisted for Australian Christian Book of The Year 2012; and Grand Overall Winner of The CALEB Prize 2012.
  • Winner, NSW Writer's Centre Poetry Cup 1999.
  • Runner-up, NSW Writer's Centre Poetry Cup 2000 and 2001.
  • 2nd in the New Media Poetry Prize of the Australian Poetry Festival 2004.
  • Finalist in Poetry Idol in 2009.
  • Give a Man a Fish - finalist for The CALEB Prize: Reviewers Choice, 2011.
  • Water, Wine and a Wonderful Wedding - shortlisted for The CALEB Prize: Children's book section, 2010.
  • Commendation in the Wordsmiths of Melbourne Annual Poetry Competition. 2010.
  • Shortlisted for The Fatherhood Poetry Project, 2010.
  • Commendation in the Mornington Peninsula Poetry Prize 2009.
  • Shortlisted for the Positive Words competition in August 2009.
  • Longlisted for Tropfest 2004 with the poetry-based short-film done with Peter Harding: My House Speaks To Me