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y separately published work icon Blakwork selected work   poetry  
Issue Details: First known date: 2018... 2018 Blakwork
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'A stunning mix of memoir, reportage, fiction, satire, and critique composed by a powerful new voice in poetry. Alison Whittaker’s BLAKWORK is an original and unapologetic collection from which two things emerge; an incomprehensible loss, and the poet’s fearless examination of the present.

'Whittaker is unsparing in the interrogation of familiar ideas – identifying and dissolving them with idiosyncratic imagery, layering them to form new connections, and reinterpreting what we know.' (Publication summary)

Publication Details of Only Known VersionEarliest 2 Known Versions of

Works about this Work

The Trouble with Poetry and Literary Awards Clare Millar , 2020 single work essay
— Appears in: Overland [Online] , August 2020;

'Australia has a strong history of poetry, albeit largely white and male. Henry Lawson, Banjo Patterson, Adam Lindsay Gordon, CJ Dennis, AD Hope and Dorothea Mackellar are all notable figures in Australia’s colonial history and literature. Why is it, then, that poetry collections are largely ignored by our major literary prizes?' (Introduction)

Voices of the Ancestor Sarah Holland-Batt , 2020 single work column
— Appears in: The Weekend Australian , 4 July 2020; (p. 18)
Why Write? Timmah Ball , 2020 single work essay
— Appears in: Meanjin , Autumn vol. 79 no. 1 2020;

'There was a Facebook message from Hetti Perkins, which was an odd coincidence. I was working on a poem about her late father Charlie for a collection, which I would later abandon as I grew aware that I lacked the precision for poetry. The early interest I had attracted leading to these opportunities was more about a literary industry driven to uncover diverse new voices than an acknowledgement that with hard work and patience I might become a great writer. Attention that provided motivation but pushed emerging writers in directions at once exhilarating, confusing and premature. At the time I was considering using the title ‘Peeling’ for the poetry chapbook when I noticed her message. The poem was about her father’s role in the Nancy Prasad incident, where a five-year-old Fijian girl was deported to Fiji, symptomatic of Australia’s racist immigration policies of the 1960s.' (Introduction)

'Quite Incredible' : Demand for Indigenous Literature Goes Global Broede Carmody , 2019 single work column
— Appears in: The Sydney Morning Herald , 25 November 2019;

'Indigenous literature has been one of the top-performing categories for local booksellers in 2019, and international publishers are noticing a similar increase in interest for books written by Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander authors.' (Introduction)

January in Poetry Autumn Royal , 2019 single work review
— Appears in: Overland [Online] , January 2019;

— Review of Blakwork Alison Whittaker , 2018 selected work poetry ; Calenture Lindsay Tuggle , 2018 selected work poetry ; I Love Poetry Michael Farrell , 2017 selected work poetry ; Angel Frankenstein George Mouratidis , 2018 selected work poetry
[Review] Blakwork Dan Disney , 2019 single work review
— Appears in: World Literature Today , Winter vol. 93 no. 1 2019; (p. 87)

— Review of Blakwork Alison Whittaker , 2018 selected work poetry

'In this ever-necessary fight, here is a poet showing how the discourse of indigeneity must never be brought into the ideological service of epistemic whitework, nor simply subsumed by politically expedient gestures (a clear reference to then-Prime Minister Kevin Rudd's generations-late apology to indigenous peoples, made in 2008). [...]this book asserts a fastidious impulse and in that invaded, sheep-infested, bleating antipodean place of "nullius men" calling "oi there / boong-y slut-bra line legging line spaghetti strap / oi there!", the tone remains aggressively elegiac, the styles always experimentally transgressive. Perhaps this book is a key to portals opening onto precolonial symbolic orders; or perhaps, in that land of traumascapes, Whittaker's syntactical interventions seek to commune with genocidal pasts and beyond while simultaneously calling ahead into the future.'  (Introduction)

Raelee Lancaster Reviews Alison Whittaker’s Blakwork Raelee Lancaster , 2019 single work review
— Appears in: Cordite Poetry Review , 1 February no. 89 2019;

— Review of Blakwork Alison Whittaker , 2018 selected work poetry
Political Poetics : Two New Poetry Collections Jen Webb , 2019 single work review
— Appears in: Australian Book Review , April no. 410 2019; (p. 51-52)

— Review of Blakwork Alison Whittaker , 2018 selected work poetry ; Walking With Camels : The Story of Bertha Strehlow Leni Shilton , 2018 selected work poetry

'Alison Whittaker’s début collection, Lemons in the Chicken Wire (2015), introduced a genuinely new voice to Australian poetry: that of a Gomeroi woman, a Fulbright scholar, and a poet who can bend and blend forms with the best of them. Her second collection of poems, Blakwork, places her firmly in both the broad community of celebrated Australian poets and the celebrated Aboriginal writers in Magabala’s lists.'  (Introduction)

January in Poetry Autumn Royal , 2019 single work review
— Appears in: Overland [Online] , January 2019;

— Review of Blakwork Alison Whittaker , 2018 selected work poetry ; Calenture Lindsay Tuggle , 2018 selected work poetry ; I Love Poetry Michael Farrell , 2017 selected work poetry ; Angel Frankenstein George Mouratidis , 2018 selected work poetry
Indiah Money Interviews Alison Whittaker Indiah Money , 2018 single work interview
— Appears in: Rabbit , no. 26 2018; (p. 106-113)
Ultima Thule : BlakWork by Alison Whittaker Jeanine Leane , 2019 single work essay
— Appears in: Sydney Review of Books , February 2019;

'BlakWork by Alison Whittaker is a unique hybrid of poetry, memoir, reportage, legal documentation, fiction, non-fiction, satire, and social commentary. But to label it – to assign it a genre among the vast array of western categories that exist, would I think, risk oversimplification. It is a work that defies both genre and gender categorisations and the restrictions imposed by colonialism to situate itself at the centre of many intersections; and it both embraces and interrogates these spaces from within. At the core of all these intersections is Whittaker’s Aboriginality – her Gomeroi Country and culture.' (Introduction)

'Quite Incredible' : Demand for Indigenous Literature Goes Global Broede Carmody , 2019 single work column
— Appears in: The Sydney Morning Herald , 25 November 2019;

'Indigenous literature has been one of the top-performing categories for local booksellers in 2019, and international publishers are noticing a similar increase in interest for books written by Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander authors.' (Introduction)

Why Write? Timmah Ball , 2020 single work essay
— Appears in: Meanjin , Autumn vol. 79 no. 1 2020;

'There was a Facebook message from Hetti Perkins, which was an odd coincidence. I was working on a poem about her late father Charlie for a collection, which I would later abandon as I grew aware that I lacked the precision for poetry. The early interest I had attracted leading to these opportunities was more about a literary industry driven to uncover diverse new voices than an acknowledgement that with hard work and patience I might become a great writer. Attention that provided motivation but pushed emerging writers in directions at once exhilarating, confusing and premature. At the time I was considering using the title ‘Peeling’ for the poetry chapbook when I noticed her message. The poem was about her father’s role in the Nancy Prasad incident, where a five-year-old Fijian girl was deported to Fiji, symptomatic of Australia’s racist immigration policies of the 1960s.' (Introduction)

Voices of the Ancestor Sarah Holland-Batt , 2020 single work column
— Appears in: The Weekend Australian , 4 July 2020; (p. 18)
Last amended 3 Aug 2020 20:30:16
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