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Kerry Reed-Gilbert

Kerry Reed-Gilbert

A Wiradjuri woman from Central New South Wales, Kerry Reed-Gilbert has performed and conducted writing workshops nationally and internationally. She was the inaugural Chairperson of the First Nations Australians Writers Network (FNAWN). In 2013 she co-edited a collection of works with the US Mob Writing (UMW) group ‘By Close of Business’, and was co-editor for the Ora Nui journal, a collaborative collection between First Nations Australia writers and Maori writers.

Kerry is a former member of the Aboriginal Studies Press Advisory Committee. Her poetry and prose have been published in many journals and anthologies nationally and internationally, including the Macquarie PEN Anthology of Australian Literature and Southerly. She is a member of the ACT Us Mob Writing group and First Nations Australia Writers’ Network.

She has edited, published and been published in numerous books and publications, including Talkin’ About Country: Poetry Collection (Kuracca); The Strength of Us as Women: Black Women Speak (ed.; Ginninderra Press); Our Place: Stories about Good Practice in Youth Work with Young Aboriginal People (ed. with Shane Brown; South Sydney Youth Services); Message Stick: Contemporary Aboriginal Writing (ed.; IAD Press); Ngunnunggula (Belonging to Here): Stories and Poems (ed.; FreeXpression); and Black Woman Black Life (Wakefield Press).

In 2006 she received an ‘Outstanding Achievement in Poetry’ award and ‘Poet of Merit’ Award from the International Society of Poets. In 2005 she toured Aotearoa New Zealand as part of the Honouring Words 3rd International Indigenous Authors Celebration Tour. In 2003 she was awarded an International Residence from ATSIAB to attend Art Omi, New York, USA; and in 1997 she toured South Africa performing in ‘ECHOES’ a national tour of the spoken word.

Her work has been translated in French, Korean, Bengali, Dutch, and other languages.

States of Poetry 2017 - ACT | 'The old rugged cross' by Kerry Reed-Gilbert

States of Poetry ACT - Series Two 22 February 2016
The old rugged cross When the spirit has been brokenand there’s no place to goWhen you look around the worldwondering what went wrongWhen your heart is shattered andtorn no patch ever big enough to help it mend.No bandaid to help it heal. When tears roll down your face cascading like a roaring riverWhen the spirit has been brokenand there’s no place to goyou wonder what went wrongto make yo ... (read more)

States of Poetry 2017 - ACT | 'Got ya' by Kerry Reed-Gilbert

States of Poetry ACT - Series Two 22 February 2016
Got ya I knew he was minefrothing at the mouth(literally speaking)I was waiting for himmy body ready to strike Like a leopardon the verge of attackI waited, biding my time.I held my breath. My muscles tautprepared to pounceto strike, to maim. I knew the moment was at handthe spirits played around himI watched him fight for courageto utter the words for meto slash at his heartmy claws willing t ... (read more)

States of Poetry 2017 - ACT | 'Wiradjuri Country' by Kerry Reed-Gilbert

States of Poetry ACT - Series Two 22 February 2016
Wiradjuri country 1,000ks Wiradjuri countryEagles, angels, sun bursts,gum trees, geraniumsand a pocket full of poetry.I travel my country,my land,my life,my religion. The bush calls me backto the time of before.Before tar and cement.Brick walls and tin roofs.To the time of Creationwhere men were menand honesty was Lore. Wiradjuri country,Spirit of the earth.Red dirt, dignity.Truth and justice.L ... (read more)

States of Poetry 2017 - ACT | 'Just leave your mark here' by Kerry Reed-Gilbert

States of Poetry ACT - Series Two 22 February 2016
Just leave your mark here I won’t do you no wrongI’m a man that you can trustI’m not like the othersI’m a honourable man Some people saythere’s no honour among thievesbut let me tell you straightWe, guberment men,sent by the King we steal their landby one stroke of the mighty pen.But don’t tell anybody that. Not our fault if some settlers kill the native bornwith a shotgun placed be ... (read more)