What does it take to weave words over water? How do you collaborate across cultures? Where do you write a forest? Red Room Poetry has been opening doors and widening understandings of what poetry is and can be for almost 20 years. Tony Birch (Whisper Songs), Lorna Munro (Paper Dreaming) and Luke Patterson share their writing experiences and commissioned poems from the Guwayu – For All Times, POEM FOREST, Fair Trade and Writing Water, Red Room Poetry projects. Hosted by ABC Radio National’s Daniel Browning.
Presented with Red Room Poetry.
This is a free event. Bookings are not required, however we recommend that you arrive early to avoid disappointment.
Luke Patterson (Australian)
Luke Patterson is a Gamilaroi poet, folklorist and musician living on Gadigal lands. Grounded in extensive work with Aboriginal and other community-based organisations across Australia, his creative pursuits focus on the ways bioregional identities and consciousness are expressed through localised and vernacular forms. Luke is currently a Juncture fellow with Sydney Review of Books and a member of the 2022 Emerging Writers Festival advisory board. He has written poetry for in journals including Cordite, Plumwood Mountain, Rabbit and Running Dog.
Lorna Munro (Australian)
Lorna Munro or ‘Yilinhi’, is a Wiradjuri and Gamilaroi woman, multidisciplinary artist and regular radio and podcast host at Sydney’s Radio Skid Row. A long-time active member of her Redfern/Waterloo community, her work is informed by her passion and well-studied insight in areas such as culture, history, politics and popular culture. Lorna has travelled the world showcasing her skills and distinctive style of poetry and political commentary. She was also the sole designer and creator of Sydney’s—and possibly Australia’s—first initiative to teach Aboriginal language through poetry, in partnership with Red Room Poetry in 2015. Throughout her career she has been on stage, in films and on paper. She compiled and edited Paper Dreaming: Our Stories Our Way. Lorna continues to work tirelessly mastering many art forms, raising funds, and supporting and advocating for her community and her people on the local, national and international stage. In 2019, Lorna was announced as a recipient of the Wheeler Centre’s Next Chapter fellowship.
Natalie Harkin (Australian)
Natalie Harkin is a Narungga woman and activist-poet from South Australia. She is a Senior Research Fellow at Flinders University with an interest in decolonising state archives, currently engaging archival-poetic methods to research and document Aboriginal women's domestic service and labour histories in SA. Her words have been installed and projected in exhibitions comprising text-object-video projection, including creative-arts research collaboration with the Unbound Collective. She has published widely, including with literary journals Overland, Westerly, Southerly, The Lifted Brow, Wasafiri International Contemporary Writing, TEXT and Cordite. Her poetry manuscripts include Dirty Words in 2015, and Archival-poetics in 2019.
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.
Daniel Browning (Australian)
Daniel Browning is an Aboriginal journalist, radio broadcaster, sound artist and writer. Currently, he presents The Art Show on ABC Radio National and is the ABC's Editor of Indigenous Radio. A visual arts graduate, Daniel is also a widely published freelance writer on the arts and culture. He is a former guest editor of Artlink Indigenous, an occasional series of the quarterly Australian contemporary arts journal. He is the inaugural curator of Blak Box, an award-winning, architect-designed sound pavilion commissioned by Urban Theatre Projects, the multiform arts company based in western Sydney. Daniel is a descendant of the Bundjalung and Kullilli peoples of far northern New South Wales and south-western Queensland.