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 writer’s residency at Trinity College, the oldest student residence at the University of Melbourne. Two runner-up prizes will also be awarded.
While we’d like to thank all the entrants who submitted this year, the three judges for the 2017 competition – Jeanine Leane, Overland’s Toby Fitch and Trinity College’s Gayle Allan – have now decided on a shortlist of five outstanding poems.
Congratulations to the following writers:
‘as we attack’
Jazz Money is a writer, filmmaker and educator of Wiradjuri and European heritage. In recent years she has moved across Asia, America, Europe and Australia working in education and facilitating Indigenous ways of knowing. Jazz is currently based in Sydney, where she lives and works on the sovereign lands of the Eora Nation.
‘A dance of hands’
Kirli Saunders is a proud Gunai woman. She is the Manager of Poetic Learning and Cultural Liaison at Red Room Poetry. Kirli founded the Poetry in First Languages project. Her first children’s picture book The Incredible Freedom Machines has been selected for Bologna Book Fair 2018.
Laniyuk was born of a French mother and a Larrakia, Kungarrakan and Gurindji father. She contributed to the book Colouring the Rainbow: Blak Queer and Trans Perspectives as well as winning the Indigenous residency for Canberra’s Noted Writers Festival 2017 and Overland’s Writers Residency for 2018.
Raelee Lancaster is a shortlisted poet, research assistant, and creative producer currently based in Brisbane. Raised on Awabakal land, with ties to the Wiradjuri nation. Her work has featured in Rabbit, Westerly: Flux, Voiceworks, and on stages in and around Brisbane.
I’ve been pulling together moon moments for years, but there was a line in Margaret Atwood’s Surfacing that became the glue for this piece about ceremony and story from Western Vic culture – the story of Gnowee – and moon mythology from other nations, like Tiwi artist Timothy Cook’s paintings of Kulama: ‘The earth rotates, holding my body down to it as it holds the moon’.
Susie Anderson is a Wergaia and Wemba Wemba woman from Western Victoria and currently lives in Sydney. She has performed at local and international poetry events including LitCrawl Wellington and the Emerging Writers Festival in Melbourne. In 2016 she was a resident at the Banff Centre in Canada and in 2014 had a Wheeler Centre Hot Desk Fellowship. Selected publications include Runway Magazine, Running Dog, Rabbit Poetry, Australian Book Review, Voiceworks and The Lifted Brow.
Congratulations again to these excellent young writers. Final results will be announced at Overland shortly!
Lead image: Hosier and Rutledge Lane, Melbourne / flickr