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Fire Front: First Nations Poetry and Power Today

When

What are you up to on the evening of Thursday 21 May? How about watching poetry readings from some of the country’s finest First Nations poets, straight from their homes to yours?

Fire Front is a new anthology of First Nations poetry, edited by Gomeroi poet, essayist and legal academic Alison Whittaker. Featuring both established and emerging poets, it showcases the breadth of First Nations poetic voices, alongside essays from leading Aboriginal writers and thinkers who offer their own reflections on the power of the form. 

In this special showcase of Fire Front contributors, hosted by Whittaker, we’ll hear a Welcome to Country from Parbin-Ata Carolyn Briggs, followed by readings from Tony Birch, Charmaine Papertalk Green, Ali Cobby Eckermann, Meleika Gesa-Fatafehi, Jeanine Leane, Natalie Harkin, Lorna Munro, Raelee Lancaster, Luke Patterson and Evelyn Araluen. Then, Araluen will speak with Whittaker about how this landmark collection came together.

This event will be available to watch on this page.

It’s an uncertain moment for the arts, for writers and for everybody. If you’re in a position to support our efforts to bring you books, writing and ideas from a safe distance, you can make a contribution here. Thank you for your generosity.

Featuring

Tony Birch

Tony Birch is a founding member of the Melbourne School of Discontent. He has published three novels; The White Girl, Ghost River and Blood. He is also the author of Shadowboxing and three short story collections, Father’s Day, The Promise and Common People. In 2017 he was awarded the Pa... Read more

Ali Cobby Eckermann

Ali Cobby Eckermann is the first Aboriginal Australian writer to attend the International Writing Program at the University of Iowa in 2014. Her verse novel Ruby Moonlight was published in the USA in 2015 and a collection of poems translated and published in Kolkata, India. She returned home and l... Read more

Alison Whittaker

Alison Whittaker is a Gomeroi multitasker. Between 2017–2018, she was a Fulbright scholar at Harvard Law School, where she was named the Dean’s Scholar in Race, Gender and Criminal Law. Alison is a Senior Researcher at the Jumbunna Institute at UTS.  Her debut poetry collection, Lemons in the ... Read more

Evelyn Araluen

Evelyn Araluen is a poet, researcher and co-editor of Overland literary journal. Her widely published criticism, fiction and poetry have been awarded the Nakata Brophy Prize for Young Indigenous Writers, the Judith Wright Poetry Prize, a Wheeler Centre Next Chapter Fellowship, and a Neilma Sidney Li... Read more

N'arweet Carolyn Briggs

N’arweet Dr Carolyn Briggs AM is a Boon Wurrung senior elder and is the chairperson and founder of the Boon Wurrung Foundation. A descendant of the First Peoples of Melbourne, the Yaluk-ut Weelam clan of the Boon Wurrung, she is the great-granddaughter of Louisa Briggs, a Boon Wurrung woman ... Read more

Charmaine Papertalk Green

Charmaine Papertalk Green is from the Wajarri, Badimaya and Southern Yamaji peoples of Mid West Western Australia. She has lived and worked in rural Western Australia (Mid West and Pilbara) most of her life, and within the Aboriginal sector industry as a community agitator, artist/poet, community de... Read more

Meleika Gesa-Fatafehi

Meleika Gesa-Fatafehi AKA Vika Mana, is a proud Torres Strait Islander and Tongan storyteller that takes many forms. They descend from the Zagareb and Dauareb tribes of Mer Island and the village of Fahefa in Tonga. They perform poetry, write criticism, breathe life into worlds and lastly, can shar... Read more

Raelee Lancaster

Raelee Lancaster is a writer, collaborator and creative industries professional based in Meanjin (Brisbane). She is the co-director of the National Young Writers Festival (NYWF).  In 2018, Raelee was awarded first place for the Nakata Brophy Prize for Young Indigenous Writers. Her writing has featu... Read more

Jeanine Leane

Jeanine Leane is a Wiradjuri writer, teacher and academic from southwest New South Wales. After a long teaching career, she completed a doctorate in Australian literature and Aboriginal representation and a postdoctoral fellowship at the Australian Centre for Indigenous History at the Australian Nat... Read more

Natalie Harkin

Natalie Harkin is a Narungga woman and activist poet from South Australia. She is a senior research fellow at Flinders University with an interest in decolonising state archives. Natalie is currently engaging archival-poetic methods to research and document Aboriginal women’s domestic service ... Read more

Lorna Munro

Lorna Munro, or ‘Yilinhi’, is a Wiradjuri and Gamilaroi woman, multidisciplinary artist and regular radio and podcast host at Sydney’s ‘Radio Skid Row’. A long-time active member of her Redfern/Waterloo community, her work is informed by her passion and well-studied insight in areas suc... Read more

Luke Patterson

Luke Patterson is a Gamilaroi poet and folklorist living on Gadigal lands. He is interested in the ways bioregional identities and consciousness are expressed through localised and vernacular forms. Luke’s research and creative pursuits are grounded in his extensive work with Aboriginal and other ... Read more

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The Wheeler Centre acknowledges the Traditional Owners of the land on which we live and work. We pay our respects to the people of the Kulin Nation and all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Elders past and present.