Book Launch: Omar Musa


This event has now passed.

We are delighted to welcome Omar Musa to read at Books Upstairs café this Friday 12th August at 6pm to celebrate the launch of his poetry collection Killernova. Omar will be introduced and interviewed by poet and journalist Vincent Woods.

Omar Musa is a Bornean-Australian author, visual artist and poet from Queanbeyan, Australia. He has released four poetry books, including Killernova, four hip-hop records, and received a standing ovation at TEDx Sydney at the Sydney Opera House.

His debut novel “Here Come the Dogs” was long-listed for the International Dublin Literary Award and Miles Franklin Award and he was named one of the Sydney Morning Herald’s Young Novelists of the Year in 2015.

His one-man play, “Since Ali Died”, won Best Cabaret Show at the Sydney Theatre Awards in 2018. He has had several solo exhibitions of his woodcut prints.



The island of Borneo was once the most heavily wooded in the world, and its people have always carved wood beautifully. In KILLERNOVA, grappling with his heritage, Omar Musa remixes this ancient art form with fiery poetry forged in the stars. With equal parts swagger, humour and vulnerability, Musa charts a journey through the colonial history of South-East Asia, environmental destruction, oceans, bushfires, race, the isolation and addiction of COVID lockdown, family, lost love and, ultimately, recovery. Relentlessly on beat, visually captivating and deceptively intimate, this is a collection of words and art that burns blindingly bright.


PRAISE for Killernova:

Omar Musa is a rare kind. As visual in his poetry as he is poetic in his visuals. This collection allows us to to dive deeper into his worlds, to experience the poems alongside the carvings adds greater dimension to each.

Omar’s poetry slips between two worlds, between play and dread, the sacred and the mundane, with Houdini-like ease. He leans into the mystery, while bringing down the hammer. Like if Frank Ocean ghost-wrote Nostradamus.

Omar Musa’s latest work explodes on the page like a dazzling fireworks display, endlessly surprising and beautiful. Killernova is a book to keep close to the heart, forever.

Pretentious literary navel-gazing. This will go well when thrown into the circle jerk of writers festivals and resin-jewellery led artists panels. That said, it’s hard to deny the Queanbeyan edge that penetrates these whimsical post-national musings. The man’s pretty handy with a linoleum cutter too.


PRAISE for Omar Musa:

Omar Musa is a special writer with his own beat, cutting through worlds.

Never mind page versus stage, this is poetry: listen.
[s]uch swaggering exuberance that it will make most other fiction you read this year seem criminally dull. You have been warned.
[A] writer with the attuned ear of a great poet, the narrative gifts of seasoned novelist, and no slight exposure to the beautiful struggle.

Musa is a poet and every page speaks to his ferocious talent.

Each poem in Musa’s Millefiori beats with a large heart.