The eucalypt has played an important, complex and at times contentious role in shaping the identity and imaginary of so-called Australia. Ongoing shifts in the role and meaning of the eucalypt come through in the research and writing of Sophie Cunningham, Ashley Hay, Jazz Money and Tony Birch. Join these writers for readings and a conversation in parallel with the current Powerhouse exhibition Eucalyptusdom, which reckons with our cultural history and ever-changing relationship with the gum tree.
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.
Ashley Hay (Australian)
Ashley Hay is an award-winning novelist and essayist. Her novels include The Railwayman's Wife and A Hundred Small Lessons. A new edition of her non-fiction narrative, Gum: The Story of Eucalypts and Their Champions, was published in 2021. She is the editor of Griffith Review.
Sophie Cunningham (Australian)
Sophie Cunningham is the author of seven books including City of Trees: Essays on Life, Death and the need for a Forest. She is also a teacher, mentor, climate change activist, wildlife advocate. She has also begun researching a new non-fiction book, The Time Machines: In search of ten of Australia’s oldest and most remote trees. Her recent novel, This Devastating Fever, will be released in September.
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.