Words for Now: Poetry as Processing

Words for Now: Poetry as Processing

not in Aus, mate
bad things don’t happen here

our beaches are open
they are not places where bloodied mattresses burn

Ellen van Neerven writes fiction, poetry, plays and non-fiction. An award-winning Mununjali Yugambeh writer and editor, their highly celebrated books include the experimental fiction collection, Heat and Light, and a book of poems, Comfort Food. This month, they released their second poetry collection, Throat, which explores love, language and land, and interrogates the colonial impulse.

Maxine Beneba Clarke is also a critically acclaimed writer and poet, whose work – including her award-winning 2016 poetry collection, Carrying the World – is known for its intensity and inventiveness, and for speaking truth to power.

Both writers bring humour and heart to critical questions of who we are, where we come from and the burden of Australia’s unreconciled history.

Broadcasting from their homes, these two poetic powerhouses discuss their shared passion for the form, and consider ways in which poetry can help us process what’s happening in the world today.



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Who?

Portrait of Ellen van Neerven

Ellen van Neerven

Ellen van Neerven is an award-winning writer of Mununjali and Dutch heritage. Their books include Heat and Light, Comfort Food and Throat.

Portrait of Maxine Beneba Clarke

Maxine Beneba Clarke

Maxine Beneba Clarke is the ABIA and Indie award winning author of over nine books for adults and children, including the critically acclaimed short fiction collection Foreign Soil, the bestselling memoir The Hate Race, the Victorian Premier’s Award winning poetry collection Carrying the World, and the Boston Globe/Horn Prize winning picture book The Patchwork Bike, illustrated by Van T. Rudd.