Posted by: Lisa Hill | February 22, 2016

20 reasons you should read Blak

I had the privilege to attend the Blak & Bright launch last Friday, and so I am delighted that Anita has shared the slides from her presentation. I’ve read most of these recommendations, (some of them are reviewed here on this blog, and the children’s ones were reviewed on my LisaHillSchoolStuff blog). So I can verify that Anita’s choices are indeed great choices and that there’s something here for everyone.

Anita Heiss

The following blog post was part of a keynote address I delivered at the inaugural Blak and Bright Festival at the Wheeler Centre in Melbourne on Friday, April 19th. For the purpose of consistency in this published piece, Black is Blak.

I read a lot of top shelf Blak authors and I think you should too. Here’s why:xour-stories-are-our-survival.jpg.pagespeed.ic.he17Fd2q8f

Our Stories are our Survival, Lawrance Bamblett 

Since time immemorial we have been telling stories. Throughout the history of Aboriginal Australia, most aspects of Aboriginal society, culture, religion and history were passed on to family and community via an oral tradition that included approximately 200 distinct Aboriginal languages spoken by 600 Aboriginal nations. This involved storytelling to pass on information over generations and this practice endures today. Storytelling was the oral literature, the art form likened to dance, performance and visual arts (which also pass on information). It is…

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  1. Thanks for this link, it is a fascinating read. I have recently purchased and set myself the challenge of reading Dr Heiss’s Dhuuluu-yala about Black writing. Will report eventually!


    • Excellent, I look forward to that:)


  2. Ah, I’ve schedule a post on this for tonight’s Monday Musings. I only heard about the event on ABC RN on Friday. Heiss talked about her reasons to read Blak, among other things. How lovely have gone to the launch. You didn’t go to other sessions? I do hope the event continues.


    • Alas, my weekend was full of other things. But I’m not sure what I would have gone to anyway. There were workshops for writers, and performances and plays, but not much that I know of in the way of authors talking about their books, which is what I am most interested in. I would love to hear Alexis Wright talk about The Swan Book, for example!


  3. Have heard it was amazing Lisa – lucky you!


    • You would have loved it, Mairi:) BTW there is a podcast on the Wheeler Centre website if you are interested… I was hoping they’d do a video, maybe they just haven’t had time to put it up yet.


  4. The Blak & Bright is one of many initiatives to promote Black Indigenous Writing from Australia. I listened to the podcast featuring Dr. Anita Heiss, Jane Harrison, and Ellen Van Neerven. I hope that the writers, literary advocates, and scholars involved in Blak & Bright can also be promoted in the United States. There are a lot of educators, writers, and scholars (including myself) who would be interested in learning more about such literary works.


    • Well, Sonia, I hope you and some of your associates can participate in my annual Indigenous Literature Week – click the logos at the bottom of the RHS menu to see what we’ve done in the past to promote indigenous writing – the reviews are becoming a useful resource for people who’re interested in the wealth of writing talent we have here:)


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