Past Indigenous Poets in Residence


QPF’s Indigenous Poet in Residence program acknowledges the traditional owners of the land the festival is held on and the rich tradition of oral storytelling of Australia’s first poets, as well as showcasing the new wave of contemporary Aboriginal poets.

The 2018 Indigenous Poet-in-Residence was Alison Whittaker.

Alison Whittaker is a Gomeroi poet and law scholar. She was a 2017-2018 Fulbright scholar at Harvard Law School, where she was named the Dean’s Scholar in Race, Gender and Criminal Law. In 2017, Alison received the Judith Wright Poetry Prize for MANY GIRLS WHITE LINEN, and in 2015 her first collection Lemons in the Chicken Wire was developed under a black&write! fellowship from the State Library of Queensland. Alison’s latest collection of essays, short fiction and poetry, blakwork, is out in September 2018 with Magabala.






The 2017 Indigenous Poet in Residence was Ali Cobby Eckermann.

Ali Cobby Eckermann’s first collection little bit long time was written in the desert and launched her literary career in 2009. Her works have been published in various languages, and she has travelled widely to showcase Aboriginal poetry overseas. In 2013, Ali toured Ireland as Australian Poetry Ambassador and won the Kenneth Slessor Prize for Poetry and Book Of The Year (NSW) for Ruby Moonlight, a massacre verse novel. In 2014, Ali was the inaugural recipient of the Tungkunungka Pintyanthi Fellowship at Adelaide Writers Week, and the first Aboriginal Australian writer to attend the International Writing Program at University of Iowa. Her memoir Too Afraid To Cry was launched in New Delhi, India, in 2015, on her way to Jaipur Literature Festival. In 2016, Ali presented a keynote at the Active Aesthetics Conference in Berkeley, California. In 2017, Ali received a Windham-Campbell Award from Yale University.

Ali was the Indigenous Poet in Residence from 17-27th August for a 1.5 week residency. During this period she conducted a free poetry workshop for community and A Night By The Fire (open to all) at kuril dhagun, public workshop and readings as part of Quandamooka Festival, was part of a free public In Conversation with the 2017 Arts Queensland Poet in Residence at QAGOMA, delivered QPF2017’s Opening Night keynote address as well as being part of other feature readings and panels at QPF 2017.