In an era of climate crisis, we consider ways to protect land and Country. Campaigns to confront climate change speak of renewable energy sources and an ending of fossil fuel mining. But what of the inherent values of Country? Are we humble enough to accept its right to autonomy? SWF Guest Curator Tony Birch (Whisper Songs) sits down with three First Nations poets – Jazz Money (how to make a basket), Anne-Marie Te Whiu (Solid Air) and Evelyn Araluen (Dropbear) – who have woven images and stories that engage with the authority of Country and our place in it.
Evelyn Araluen (Australian)
Evelyn Araluen is a poet, researcher and co-editor of Overland Literary Journal. Her widely published criticism, fiction and poetry has been awarded the Nakata Brophy Prize for Young Indigenous Writers, the Judith Wright Poetry Prize, a Wheeler Centre Next Chapter Fellowship, and a Neilma Sidney Literary Travel Fund grant. Born and raised on Dharug country, she is a descendant of the Bundjalung Nation. Evelyn’s debut collection Dropbear won the 2022 Stella Prize.
Jazz Money (Australian)
Jazz Money is a Wiradjuri poet and artist currently based on Gadigal land. Her practice is centred around the written word while producing works that encompass installation, digital, film and print. Jazz's writing has been widely performed and published nationally and internationally. Her David Unaipon Award-winning debut collection how to make a basket was published in 2021.
Anne-Marie Te Whiu (Australian)
Anne-Marie Te Whiu (Te Rarawa) lives in Dharawal Country in Wollongong, NSW. She is a poet, editor, weaver, festival director and cultural producer. She co-edited Solid Air: Australia and New Zealand Spoken Word, as well as editing Tony Birch’s poetry collection Whisper Songs. Between 2015-2017 she was co-director of the Queensland Poetry Festival. Her poems and essays have appeared in multiple journals and platforms across Australia & Aotearoa. She is a 2022-Wheeler Centre Next Chapter recipient. She currently works at Red Room Poetry as a Senior Producer.
Tony Birch (Australian)
Tony Birch is the author of the bestselling The White Girl, winner of 2020 NSW Premier’s Award for Indigenous Writing and shortlisted for the 2020 Miles Franklin Award; Ghost River, winner of the 2016 Victorian Premier’s Literary Award for Indigenous Writing; and Blood, shortlisted for the 2012 Miles Franklin Award. He is also the author of four short-story collections Shadowboxing, Father’s Day, The Promise and Common People. His latest works include the poetry collection Whisper Songs and the short story collection Dark As Last Night.