Writing & Society Research Centre seminar series

Event Name
Writing & Society Research Centre seminar series
1 October 2021
11:00 pm - 12:00 am

Address (Room): online


Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people are confronted daily by the brutalities and injustices of the colony of Australia. And yet our communities are full of laughter, love, joy, solidarity and support. Indigenous poets write into this duality as an ongoing way of resisting and critiquing the colony. This seminar will invite a conversation around the form and function of hope in writing, with a specific interest in the way joy interacts with forms of protest. These poets will consider what makes poetry a unique tool for complex dialogues, and how writing helps to connect Indigenous poets. Chaired by Wiradjuri poet Jazz Money (2020 David Unaipon Award), and featuring Gomeroi writer Alison Whittaker and award-winning Mununjali (Yugambeh) writer Ellen van Neerven, this conversation will address the location of ‘hope’ within fierce critiques; transcending the confines of the colony by writing about joy; balancing hope and despair in creative practice; and writing as a way of connecting with and building community.

Jazz Money is an award-winning poet of Wiradjuri heritage, a fresh-water river woman currently based on beautiful Gadigal land now known as Sydney. Her practice is centred around the written word while producing works that encompass installation, digital, film and print. Jazz’s David Unaipon Award-winning debut collection is ‘how to make a basket’ available from September 2021 with University of Queensland Press.

Ellen van Neerven is an award-winning writer of Mununjali and Dutch heritage. Their books include Throat (2020), Comfort Food (2016) and Heat and Light (2014). Throat received three awards including Book of the Year in the 2021 NSW Premier’s Literary Awards. Ellen is also the editor of four anthologies including the recent Flock: First Nations Stories Then and Now (2021).

Alison Whittaker is a Gomeroi poet, essayist and legal scholar. She is a Research Fellow at the Jumbunna Institute. In 2017–18, Alison was a Fulbright scholar at Harvard Law School where she was named Dean’s Scholar in Race, Gender and Criminal Law. Her second book Blakwork was shortlisted for the 2019 Prime Minister's Literary Award. Her most recent book, Fire Front, is an anthology of, and about, First Nations published poetry.

RSVP to: Suzanne Gapps, s.gapps@westernsydney.edu.au and you will be sent the Zoom link. All welcome.

Web page: https://www.westernsydney.edu.au/writing_and_society/events/writing_and_society_seminars

Name: Suzanne Gapps


Phone: 0403 699 455

School / Department: Writing & Society Research Centre