It was “Kia Ora” to Aotearoa over the March long weekend. We both travelled to Wellington, New Zealand representing the First Nations Australian Writers Network (FNAWN), at the Ora Nui Special Edition launch, during Writers Week of the New Zealand Festival.
The second edition of New Zealand’s Maori literary journal Ora Nui was collaboration between Ora Nui and the FNAWN. The journal showcased a range of poetry, prose and short fiction from the Indigenous people of Aotearoa New Zealand and Australia. The Co-editors were Anton Blank, Ora Nui and Kerry Reed-Gilbert, Chairperson FNAWN.
We both met up with Tony Birch from Melbourne and some of the Maori writers also included in the journal: Cath Dunsford, Kani Te Manukura, and Anton Blank.
The launch was held on Saturday 8 March with about 40 people attending the session which was good, given the 10.45am start. A few nerves appeared beforehand which turned into excitement. It was great to be on stage and hear readings from the best seats in the house – on stage! We read some of our work and launched the special edition. The audience and festival organisers were moved by the readings and enjoyed this along with the Question and Answer session that followed and the book signing.
After that we were free to attend other events and explore the lovely city of Wellington. The weather was beautiful and added to the international atmosphere of the Festival. Other events held included Tony Birch’s session Nothing is Written in Stone, and events with international writers.
A Powhiri (welcome ceremony) was held on Monday and this was lovely to witness and be included in the experience.
Overall, it was an honour to represent FNAWN. Thanks go to the Festival organisers and volunteers for their assistance and warm hospitality. It was a pleasure to be a part of the Writers Week.
The First Nations Australia Writers’ Network wishes to pay tribute to Gerry Bostock who passed away today. He was a true warrior and champion of Aboriginal arts and literature, as well as our people and communities. His works include Lousy Little Sixpence, Black Man Coming: Poems, as well as a play Here Comes the Nigger in 1974.
Gerry will be sorely missed. Our prayers and best wishes to his family.
The First Nations Australia Writers’ Network is excited to be working with Australian Poetry, with the generous support of the Scanlon Foundation, to announce the 2014 Scanlon Prize for Indigenous Poetry.
The Scanlon Prize for Indigenous Poetry is the only prize in Australia specifically to books of Indigenous poetry, its purpose being to encourage the work of Indigenous poets, and to make their poetry more widely known and appreciated. The Prize is now in its tenth year of existence. The Scanlon Prize is awarded to a poet for the best single-author collection of Aboriginal poetry published in the last two years.The award includes a prize of $2000.
The winner will be announced at an event to be held as part of the Melbourne Writers Festival and the results published on the Australian Poetry website.
The guidelines are below:
- Entries may be made by poets or by publishers.
- Multiple entries are accepted.
- There is no entry form. Entrants should include a covering letter giving all contact details, and send two copies each of book being entered.
- Entries should be forwarded by 30 May 2014 to:
The Scanlon Prize for Indigenous Poetry, c/o Australian Poetry Ltd, PO Box 21082, Little Lonsdale St, Melbourne VIC 8011.
Click on the link for the complete Guidelines and background information: Scanlon Prize Guidelines and background 2014
What a busy month! In addition to the launch of FNAWN, a number of the FNAWN community are heading over the Aotearoa New Zealand for the launch of Ora Nui, Special Edition.
In this collection, Aotearoa’s Maori literary journal Ora Nui showcases a range of poetry, prose and short fiction. Australian authors include Kerry Reed-Gilbert, Tony Birch and Alexis West.
We look forward to hearing about the launch, as well as further collaborations between our writers.
For more information head to the New Zealand Festival website: http://festival.co.nz/ora-nui-special-edition-launch/
The First Nations Australia Writers’ Network are pleased to invite everyone, writers, community, publishers, and partners, to the official launch of the First Nations Australia Writers’ Network on the 2nd of March, 2014, in Adelaide. Continue reading