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Collective Spirit: First Nations Poetry

Listen to Collective Spirit: First Nations Poetry

Photo of four people on stage, seated on red armchairs, with an Aboriginal flag attached to the front of the stage

From left to right: Ali Cobby Eckermann, Ryan Prehn, Emily Munro-Harrison and Monica Karo — Photo: Anne Algar

‘The Christianity you hold so high / Is but a lie, / Justice a cant of hypocrites, content / With precedent.’ (Oodgeroo Noonuccal, in ‘Colour Bar’.)

Poetry has always been a powerful vehicle for ideas. As a genre, it’s often entangled with the moral and social conflicts of the age, and rich with references to politics, history, joy and pain. Forms like spoken word, lamentation and illumination offer unique critical possibilities. And for many First Nations Peoples, poetry has been an incredibly potent space for addressing country, relationships, community and identity.

This discussion, hosted by Ali Cobby Eckermann, showcases three emerging Victoria-based Indigenous poets – Monica Karo, Ryan Prehn and Emily Munro-Harrison – fresh from a residency at Kalang Retreat. They discuss their writing, the residency and poetic licence, and perform readings of their work.

This event is presented in partnership with Kalang Retreat. Collective Spirit is supported by the City of Melbourne Arts Grants Program, the Victorian Government through Creative VicArts Grants and Australian Poetry.

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