In a Writers Bloc article, Wiradjuri writer Hannah Donnelly wrote: ‘Today when I read Australian literature I am perplexed as to how writers continue to colonise country through their writing.’ She urged writers to be wary of rewriting colonial myths: ‘There are so many ways to learn about country while respecting our intellectual property and traditional cultural expressions.’ Alison Whittaker talks to Hannah, Indigenous literature expert Evelyn Araluen and writer Bruce Pascoe about white central narratives in Australian writing, and how to decolonise our literature.
Evelyn Araluen (Australian)
Evelyn Araluen is a poet, activist, and PhD candidate teaching and researching Indigenous literatures at the University of Sydney, Eora country. Born and raised on Dharug country with Bundjalung ancestry, her poetry and criticism can be found in Southerly, Overland, and The Best Australian Poems of 2016.
Hannah Donnelly (Australian)
Hannah Donnelly is a writer and the creator of Sovereign Trax. Her work experiments with future tense, speculative fiction and Indigenous responses to climate trauma through stories of cultural flows and water. Sovereign Trax is an online platform promoting First Nations music through energising decolonisation conversations and community in music. Hannah is currently working at Next Wave as an associate producer.
Bruce Pascoe (Australian)
Bruce Pascoe is a Bunurong, Tasmanian and Yuin man. He is a member of Yuin Gurandgi, past secretary of Bidwell-Maapand has been the director of the Australian Studies Project for the Commonwealth Schools Commission. Bruce has had a varied career as a teacher, farmer, fisherman, barman, fencing contractor, lecturer, Aboriginal language researcher, archaeological site worker and editor. His book Fog A Dox, won the Young Adult category of the 2013 Prime Minister's Literary Awards. Dark Emu won the NSW Premier’s Award Book of the Year in 2016.
Alison Whittaker (Australian)
Alison Whittaker is a Gomeroi poet and researcher, and winner of the 2016 Judith Wright Poetry Prize. She has words in major literary journals and online platforms. Her debut collection, Lemons in the Chicken Wire received the State Library of Queensland's 2015 black&write! Fellowship and was shortlisted for the 2016 Scanlon Prize.