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.





Jeanine Leane

Jeanine Leane belongs to the Wiradjuri people from the Murrumbidgee river. She is a poet, teacher, author and essayist who is well published in the areas of Aboriginal writing, writing difference and literary criticism.

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Toby Fitch

Toby Fitch is Overland’s poetry editor, a lecturer in creative writing at the University of Sydney, and the poet behind RawshockBloomin’ NotionsWhere Only the Sky had Hung Before and, most recently, Sydney Spleen. He is the editor of the poetry anthologies Best of Australian Poems 2021 (co-edited with Ellen van Neerven) and Groundswell: The Overland Judith Wright Poetry Prize for New & Emerging Poets 2007–2020.

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