Announcing the winners of the Nakata Brophy Prize

Overland magazine and Trinity College (University of Melbourne) are very pleased to announce that Ellen van Neerven’s poem ‘Expert’ is the winner of this year’s Nakata Brophy Prize for Young Indigenous Writers.

Two runner-up places have been awarded to Evelyn Araluen’s ‘Learning Bundjalung on Tharawal’ and Ryan Prehn’s ‘Cassandra’.

The three judges – Charmaine Papertalk-Green, Overland’s Toby Fitch and Trinity College’s Katherine Firth – note that this year’s winners were ‘distinctive for their use of voice, tone and syntax, and for their ability to unsettle socially entrenched racist tropes in contemporary contexts’.


Ellen van Neerven_photo_credit_Bridget Wood‘Expert’, Ellen van Neerven

‘Expert’ is a write-back to personal relationships that endanger black women’s bodies and minds.

Ellen van Neerven is a young Yugambeh woman from South East Queensland. She is the author of the award-winning Heat and Light (UQP, 2014), and the new collection of poetry, Comfort Food (UQP, 2016).


evelynaraluenphotoLearning Bundjalung on Tharawal’, Evelyn Araluen

‘Learning Bundjalung on Tharawal’ is about my father’s language, my lover’s garden, and the birds that fly between them.

Evelyn Araluen is a PhD candidate and educator working with Indigenous literatures at the University of Sydney, and a founding member of Students Support Aboriginal Communities, a NSW grassroots activist network. Her father’s people are Bundjalung, and her mother’s Wiradjuri. She lives in Dharug country with Waiali the rescue possum.


Prehn‘Cassandra’, Ryan Prehn

Cassandra is a layer-cake of comparison and allusion, lifelong disenchantment, and backseat apathy.

Ryan Prehn is living and studying in Melbourne. Recently, he’s been writing experimental nonfiction and poetry.

Congratulations to the winners!

The full judges’ report along with the winning poem will be available in the upcoming edition of Overland, out late June. The two runner-up poems will be published alongside the edition online.

In the meantime, head over to Radio National and hear Evelyn Araluen and Ryan Prehn read their poems and talk poetry with AWAYE! host Daniel Browning.


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