Festival Program

First Nations Curators

Lines of Inquiry: Indigenous Poetry

Fri 10 Sep, 10am
State Library Victoria, Village Roadshow Theatrette

How does the flexible form of poetry make it uniquely placed to vivify Indigenous storylines, languages and connections to Country while grappling with the ongoing legacy of Australia’s brutal colonisation? Prominent Aboriginal researcher and writer Professor Marcia Langton speaks with a trio of our most exciting poets about how their work and the medium at large brings fresh perspective to our past, present and future. Taking to the stage are False Claims of Colonial Thieves co-author Charmaine Papertalk Green, a member of the Wajarri, Badimaya and Nhanagardi Wilunyu cultural groups of Yamaji Nation; prize–winning poet Yvette Holt, who heralds from the Bidjara, Yiman and Wakaman Nations; and award–winning Heat and Light, Throat, and Comfort Food writer Ellen van Neerven, who is of Mununjali heritage.

Supported by the Copyright Agency Cultural Fund and First Nations Australia Writers’ Network


1 hour

Event artists

Charmaine Papertalk Green is an award-winning WA poet belonging to Wajarri, Badimaya and Nhanagardi Wilunyu peoples. She is the author of Nganajungu Yagu, Tiptoeing Tod the Tracker, Just Like That, and the co-author of False Claim of Colonial Thieves with WA poet John Kinsella.

Yvette Henry Holt—award-winning poet, editor, facilitator of literary workshops and chairperson of the First Nations Australia Writers Network (FNAWN)—heralds from the Yiman, Wakaman and Bidjara Nations of Queensland. She won the 2010 RAKA Kate Challis Award, the 2008 Victorian Premier’s Literary Award for Indigenous Writing and the 2008 Scanlon Prize for Poetry NSW.

Professor Marcia Langton AO is one of Australia's most important voices for Indigenous Australia. As an anthropologist and geographer, she has made a significant contribution to government and non-government policy as well as to Indigenous studies, native title and resource management, art and culture, and women's rights. 

Ellen van Neerven is an award-winning author and editor belonging to the Mununjali Yugambeh people of south east Queensland. They are the editor of the recent anthology Flock: First Nations Stories Then and Now (UQP, 2021), which includes short stories by Melissa Lucashenko and Tara June Winch.

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