Judges notes, 2021 Kuracca Prize

‘Great Grandmother Arrabrilya’ is a beautifully crafted story. Adam Brannigan weaves First Nations language and culture seamlessly as he takes his readers on a lyric journey into a world that rises above western compartmentalisations of time, and hierarchies of life to the deep spiritual heart of place. ‘Great Grandmother Arrabrilya’ defies linearity and the finality of death with its cyclic rhythms that rise and fall in ancient sequential motions that honour both Country and ancestors. This is a story that speaks strongly to the strength, hope, resilience, continuance of First Nations cultures and peoples.

‘The grief tourist’ is a remarkable poem that is arresting from its first line, and stays with you long after you’ve finished reading it. It is a poem that is defiant yet gentle, and palpable in texture and imagery. It is consistent in its lucid and assured voice.

With courage and a commitment to radical speaking and action,’ Me, the (failed) revolutionary’ reflects upon the difficult intersections of the personal and the political. With a keen eye for revelatory details and unexpected insights, the prose sustains its lucidity and power throughout.



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Justin Clemens

Justin Clemens teaches at the University of Melbourne. His most recent book is Limericks, Philosophical and Literary (Surpllus 2019).

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Jeanine Leane

Jeanine Leane is a Wiradjuri writer, poet and academic from southwest New South Wales. Her first volume of poetry, Dark Secrets After Dreaming: A.D. 1887-1961 (2010, Presspress) won the Scanlon Prize for Indigenous Poetry, and her first novel, Purple Threads (UQP), won the David Unaipon Award for an unpublished Indigenous writer. She has a PhD in Australian literature and Aboriginal representation. Her poetry and short stories have been published in Hecate, The Journal for the Association European Studies of Australia, Australian Poetry Journal, Antipodes, Overland and the Australian Book Review. Jeanine has published widely in the area of Aboriginal literature, writing otherness and creative non-fiction and is the recipient of an Australia Research Council Grant on Aboriginal literature. She teaches Creative Writing and Aboriginal Literature at the University of Melbourne. Her second volume of poetry, Walk Back Over was released in 2018 by Cordite Press.

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Elena Gomez

Elena Gomez is a poet and book editor living in Melbourne. She is the author of Body of Work (Cordite) and a number of chapbooks.

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