Nakata Brophy Prize
Poetry Prize

Nakata Brophy Prize: Judges’ notes

All five poems on this year’s Nakata Brophy Prize shortlist – Jazz Money’s ‘as we attack’, Kirli Saunders’ ‘A dance of hands’, Laniyuk Garcon’s  ‘Remember’, Raelee Lancaster’s ‘haunted house’ and Susie Anderson’s ‘revolve’ – are testimony to the diverse work of emerging Indigenous poets, not only in the Nakata Brophy Prize submissions, but more broadly across the country.

Congratulations to the shortlist and the three following poets.

Runner-up ‘A Dance of Hands’, by Kirli Saunders, is a sensorial retrospective love poem best read out loud. The other runner-up, Susie Anderson’s ‘revolve’, is a subtly evolving prose poem about the moon and the speaker coming-to-terms with events.

This year’s first-placed poem, Raelee Lancaster’s ‘haunted house’, whose speaker reworks an old trope unflinchingly in the face of scepticism, was a clear winner. Its organically formed structure across three parts allows it to express multiple traumas experienced and inherited by Australian Indigenous peoples, individual and collective.

This prize is sponsored by Trinity College, University of Melbourne.





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Jeanine Leane is a Wiradjuri writer from southwest NSW. She has a PhD in Australian literature and Aboriginal representation. She teaches creative writing and Aboriginal literature at the University of Melbourne. Her second poetry collection is out in 2017.

Toby Fitch is Overland’s poetry editor and the author of Rawshock (Puncher & Wattmann 2012), which won the Grace Leven Prize for Poetry, and Jerilderies (Vagabond Press 2014). His most recent collection is Bloomin’ Notions.

Katherine Firth is an academic and writers at Trinity College, University of Melbourne.

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