Indigenous Literature

Declan Fry on 'Fire Front: First Nations poetry and power today

The ABR Podcast
Thursday, 13 August 2020

Fire Front, edited by Gomeroi author and scholar Alison Whittaker, is an anthology of contemporary First Nations poetry. Featuring several eminent Australian writers – including Ellen van Neerven, Tony Birch, Alexis Wright, and many more – this collection serves as a testament to the contemporary renaissance of First Nations poetry. It is divided into five thematic sections, each introduced by an essay written by a prominent Aboriginal writer and thinker, such as Bruce Pascoe, Ali Cobby Eckermann, and Evelyn Araluen.

In this episode, listen to Declan Fry discuss Fire Front before reading his review of the book. 

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Bruce Pascoe’s Salt is a wonderfully eclectic collection of new works and earlier short fiction, literary non-fiction, and essays written over twenty years. Structured thematically across six themes – Country, Lament, Seawolves, Embrasure, Tracks, and Culture Lines – Salt moves between the past and the present with Pascoe’s distinctively poetic voice. Readers of Dark Emu (2014) and Convincing Ground (2007) will be familiar with the style and subject matter but will discover newly released or reworked gems.

The title speaks to memories and ghosts triggered by the smell of salt; its ability to clean, to render flesh and skin from bone, to preserve evidence, to signal cumulative impacts on Country. The prevalence of salt speaks to the power and closeness of sea Country and our dwindling salty river systems, increasingly threatened by human intervention. Pascoe’s characters are richly drawn from this salted earth and exposed to the light and the elements. Whether presented as fiction or the voices of shared histories, his characters are grounded within the seasons and Country. So, too, in Pascoe’s view, are their possibilities of reviving this salted earth through heeding Indigenous knowledge and experience.

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Patrick Allington reviews 'That Deadman Dance' by Kim Scott

Patrick Allington
Wednesday, 27 May 2015

Kim Scott noted in 2001 that the biographical notes accompanying his first two novels (True Country, 1993, and Benang: From the Heart, 1999) changed ...

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Reading Australia: 'That Deadman Dance' by Kim Scott

Patrick Allington
Wednesday, 27 May 2015

The shortlist for the 2011 Miles Franklin Literary Award, which included Kim Scott’s That Deadman Dance, was controversial because it consisted of only three novels, all w ...

Kim Scott

Amy Baillieu
Wednesday, 11 February 2015

Professor Kim Scott (1957-) is an award-winning indigenous author. His books include True Country (1993), Benang (1999), Kayang and Me (with Hazel Brown, 2005), and That Deadman Dance (2010). He has won the Miles Franklin Literary Award twice (for Benang and That Deadman Dance) and has also been awarded th ...

Mamang and Noongar Mambara Bakitj are retellings of traditional Noongar narratives by the Miles Franklin Award-winning author Kim Scott, in collaboration with a team of others. The books are part of a broader Wirlomin Noongar Language and Stories reclamation and revitalisation project currently under way in the south-western coastal region of Western Australia, an area roughly ...