Racism and solidarity

Wiradjuri man and journalist Stan Grant’s speech at the end of Q&A on Monday night was deeply, deeply moving, a continuation of his truth-telling and grace as commentator and host. That his experience of racism for being an Indigenous person in the public eye is not singular but rather the norm for so many Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people is beyond tragic. I am shamed and saddened by the treatment First Nations people receive on a regular, often daily, basis. And I am part of this, as part of this society founded on invasion and the embedded racism that supports it. I feel inadequate to comment on racism; while I have experienced sexism, I don’t have the daily experience of being targeted because of my race, and it is staggering to think that friends as well as strangers have lived with this all their lives. I condemn racism, not only in others but also in myself, as I try to become aware of the unconscious behaviours that mean I continue to presume on the privilege that is unmerited. I offer my support to Stan Grant and all my friends, colleagues and those I do not know who continue to suffer racist abuse for just being.

In solidarity and in hope for another way of being together with the kind of shared grace Stan Grant showed on Monday night.

Voice, Treaty, Truth – 2023

As the year unfolds toward the referendum on an Indigenous Voice to Parliament, I’d like to share some resources that I have found helpful.

from Uluru Statement Supporter Kit

A trawloolway man from northern lutruwita (Tasmania), Rev Canon Dr Garry Deverell gives a very helpful lecture on the Uluru Statement and the design of the Voice.

from Yes23 resources

Professor Anne Pattel-Gray, a descendant of the Bidjara / Kari Kari people of Queensland and a celebrated Aboriginal leader, makes a powerful call to the churches to support a ‘yes’ vote in the referendum on an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Voice to Parliament.

Interview with Rev Canon Glenn Loughrey, ‘A Voice to Parliament, a voice to the church‘.
Glenn is a Wiradjuri man and a member of the National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Anglican Council. He is also artist in residence at St Paul’s Cathedral in Melbourne. We are fortunate to have an artwork, Temptation with White Cockatoo by Glenn in our home.

The School of Indigenous Studies at the University of Divinity has a recommendations page: Voice, Treaty & Truth Resources.

As part of his Conversations at the Crossroads initiative, earlier this year Emeritus Professor Joe Camilleri organised a session on ‘Voice – Treaty – Truth Telling. What? When? How?’, with speakers Markus Stewart, First Peoples Assembly of Victoria, and Dr Tjanara Goreng Goreng.

To learn more and to support the Voice, see:

Sign up to the regular newsletter from Uluru Statement from the Heart: https://ulurustatement.org/

Consider signing up to act and educate through:

YES 23: https://yes23.com.au/

Together, Yes: https://togetheryes.com.au/

Double Launch

I am delighted and honoured to be joining Dr Kerrie Handasyde for a double launch featuring Professor Katharine Massam launching Kerrie’s God in the Landscape: Studies in the Literary History of Australian Protestant Dissent and Professor Vicky Balabanski launching my recently published Reading with Earth: Contributions of the New Materialism to an Ecological Feminist Hermeneutics.

Online Launch of Leaf at Liquid Amber Ecopoetics Zoom

My new poetry collection Leaf published by the exciting Liquid Amber Press is almost out in the world and will be launched online by Shari Kocher at the Liquid Amber Zoom event on Thursday 22 September 2022, from 7.30pm. The launch is part of an Ecopoetics feature focusing on plant poetics with readings from Peter Larkin and John C Ryan. There is also open mike. Bookings are free but essential: https://liquidamberpress.com.au/events/

Many thanks to Pauline Brightling and Rose Lucas for their publishing and editing nous, to Sharon Monagle for the cover image, and John C Ryan and Harriet Tarlo for their recommendations:

Within a human-flora arc, Anne Elvey’s Leaf weaves an entrancing course. Absorbingly polymorphic in arrangement, the collection harmonizes the diverse voices and voicings of plants—affective, imagistic, mnemonic, scientific. This vibrant entry point into the elusive lives of trees and other botanical forms heralds the vegetalization of language—the plant-like becoming of poetry.

John Charles Ryan

Be ‘at leaf’ with Anne Elvey in this drifting book in which this most sensitive of poets seeks a form for what we conceive of as leaf, both in general and particular terms. Poetic techniques and tones shift in this quest, just as different species and individual trees, with their colours, histories and textures, materialise on the page. The lives of leaves are taken seriously here in experimentations in empathy and explorations of our relationships with trees. At the same time, there is a humming awareness of the threat to all our lives posed by the climate crisis: a sense of the significance of weather and water runs through this work, and is related to the specific colonial history of Australia from where Elvey writes. A book well worth your engagement and a powerful addition to the poetry of plant/human relations.

Harriet Tarlo

The unease of a review

While cleaning up my inbox, I noticed that the most recent issue of Feminist Theology carries a review of Reading the Magnificat in Australia: Unsettling Engagements. Very grateful to have a review from Lisa Isherwood that recognises the unsettled and unsettling nature of the work. A bit uneasy about one comment that seems counter to what I was trying to say, about the relative age of the cultural traditions behind the biblical Magnificat and First Nations cultures, so perhaps my writing was unclear. I make the point that First Nations’ songs predate the Magnificat which arrives with the colonisers. And this is a key point. If I were to consider the traditions behind the Magnificat as of a comparable age, it may be through seeing human songs as indebted to older more-than-human songs (which I discuss in chapter 5), though perhaps there are ancient Middle Eastern and European women’s traditions that I don’t discuss that could be adduced. Isherwood notes aptly the problematics of a white settler writer saying anything about the reception of a colonial text in the ongoing colonial space in which I am situated as an inheritor of white privilege, and says: ‘I imagine Elvey wants the reader to be aware of the difficulties and to constantly question her own understandings.’ This is true. At the end of her review, I note with appreciation, she describes the book as ‘a magnificent journey’, and says, ‘Elvey wants us to listen again to an ancient text and by doing so, to open ourselves to a situated but unsettled praxis.’ Yes.

Recent Work Reading 13 September 2021 – online

I hope all of you who are in lockdown in the eastern states are doing ok.

Jennifer Compton and I were scheduled to read in person in Canberra in June this year, from our new poetry collections out from Recent Work Press, but one of the earlier Melbourne lockdowns put that on hold until September. Now due to lockdowns in ACT and Vic, that event is online. 

See the Facebook Event page for details: https://fb.me/e/eetNJiR7u

Details: Monday 13 September 2021, 7pm (Australian Eastern Standard Time). 

Introducing sun glint drift

sun glint drift is the website of Anne Elvey

Of English, Irish and Scottish settler descent, I live and work on Boonwurrung Country (alternatively spelt Boon Wurrung or Bunurong Country) in what is also known as Seaford, Victoria. I pay my respects to the elders past, present and future and recognise their continuing relation to and care for Country. I acknowledge that their sovereignty over these lands and waters has never been ceded.

‘sun glint drift’ was the title of a poem published in the Red Room Writing Water project. It is also the title I give this blog about my poetry and research.

IMG_1093I am a poet, editor and researcher with interests in ecological poetics, ecological feminist hermeneutics, ecological criticism, the material turn,  counter-colonial and decolonising ecological ethics, creative research practices, poetry and biblical literature.

My poetry publications include, Obligations of Voice (Recent Work Press 2021), On arrivals of breath (Poetica Christi 2019), White on White (Cordite Books 2018), and Kin (FIP 2014), shortlisted in the New South Wales Premier’s Literary Awards 2015.

In 2017-2018 I edited hope for whole: poets speak up to Adani.

My most recent scholarly book is Reading the Magnificat in Australia: Unsettling Engagements (Sheffield Phoenix 2020).

I was inaugural managing editor of Plumwood Mountain: An Australian Journal of Ecopoetry and Ecopoetics from 2013 to 2020.

Dr Anne Elvey

La Mama Poetica online – still available to view

The video of La Mama Poetica Online from 20 October 2020 is still available to view for a donation (of any amount) via this link.

I have been enjoying reading recent books by my co-readers from last night’s La Mama Poetics online: Jocelyn Deane, Anisa Nandaula and David Stavanger.

A particular highlight is David Stavanger’s sequence ‘Dog Minding’.

For me, Anisa Nandaula’s embodied performance and/as poetics is clear and persuasive.

I am finding Jocelyn Deane’s shifts of perspective on popular culture, classics and biblical themes to be highly engaging.