The Nakata Brophy Short Fiction and Poetry Prize recognises the talent of young Indigenous writers across Australia. Sponsored by the University of Melbourne’s Trinity College, the prize alternates each year between fiction and poetry; this year’s prize is for the best poem (up to 88 lines) by an Indigenous writer under 30.
First place is $5000, publication in Overland’s print magazine, and a three-month writing residency at Trinity College, the oldest student residence at the University of Melbourne; two runner-up prizes are also awarded.
This year saw an unprecedented number of truly incredible submissions which speak to the vibrancy of First Nations writing today. Overland, Trinity College and the judges for the 2020 competition – Evelyn Araluen, Toby Fitch and Gayle Allan – are pleased to announce the three writers who placed in the 2020 competition:
‘Superposition’ – Grace Lucas-Pennington
‘Superposition’ borrows concepts from quantum physics to explore current, at times competing, narratives about this continent’s history.
Grace is a Bundjalung/European person living on Yugurapul land. She grew up mostly between Bundjalung country on the NSW north coast and the greater Logan/Brisbane area. Grace is currently the Editor for State Library of Queensland’s black&write! Indigenous Writing and Project.
‘sweet smoke’ – Jazz Money
This poem is dedicated to the humbling work of the Djab Wurrung Embassy, written with their blessing.
Jazz Money is an award-winning poet, filmmaker and educator of Wiradjuri heritage. Her poetry has been published widely across Australia and reimagined as murals, visual art and video art. Jazz is grateful to live on the beautiful sovereign lands of the Darug and Gundungurra nations.
‘From a Place, Unknown’ – Tais Rose
‘From a Place, Unknown’ explores the motion of finding one’s way back to country, language and culture despite not knowing its origin.
Tais Rose is an Aboriginal writer and weaver living on Bundjalung country. With a complex displaced cultural identification through ancestral dissociation, her poetry seeks to highlight the significance of decolonisation work, while celebrating the resilient sentience of Aboriginal culture and connection to country that is inevitably passed on through blood.
Congratulations to these writers, and thanks to all those who submitted to this year’s Nakata Brophy Prize. Note that the 2021 prize will open 1 December and will be awarded to the best short story.