From August 13–15, Gomeroi writer Alison Whittaker invited us to share the celebration of her new book, Blakwork, published by the legendary Magabala Books. The collection of poems – prose and experimental in mode – as well as short nonfiction, is unique in form and expresses the vitality, originality and urgency of contemporary Aboriginal writing, particularly young women and queer writers.
At an event at The Wheeler Centre on August 13, Alison drew together a sequence of powerful readings by young, locally based Aboriginal poets – Serena Rae, Laniyuk Garcon and Indiah Money – followed by a memorable reading from Blakwork and a frank, wide-ranging conversation with esteemed Mununjali/Yugambeh writer and current RMIT poetry tutor, Ellen Van Neerven.
While in residence as part of the Melbourne Visiting Poets Program, Alison gave interviews with 3CR and 3RRR, met up with local writers, and spent a day of consultations with writers of colour at the Urban Writing House.
Before arriving in the city, Alison spent a week at McCraith House, which she described as ‘beyond words’. We look forward to seeing what Alison produces from this writing time, and are grateful for her generous contribution to our program.
Thanks to our wonderful industry partners for their experienced and energetic work on this program. The MVPP will be gearing up again in a couple of months, as we open the national call-out for the 2019 regional resident.