Red Room Blog
20th May 2019
Poetry in First Languages on Arrernte
By Red Room Poetry
On 12, 13 and 15 May 2019, Red Room Poetry held a series of workshops on Arrernte Country for First Nations students in the Northern Territory as part of our national Poetry in First Languages (PIFL) progam.
Led by Arrernte playwright and poet, Declan Furber Gillick, Gunai poet, Kirli Saunders and Arrernte Language Custodians, students at Centralian Senior College and Ltyentye Apurte Catholic School engaged with language learning and culture celebration through poetry as part of the NT Writers' Festival Program 2019 and in partnership with NT Writers' Centre. Kirli Saunders was also a featured writer at the festival alongside PIFL poet and Barkindji man, Paul Collis.
So far in 2019, we've presented PIFL workshops in language on Gundungurra, Dharawal and Arrernte Countries. Soon we'll be connecting with students and educators on Bundjalung, Gumea Dharawal, Dharawal, Ngunawal and Gadigal Countries.
See photos from Arrernte workshops.
"I am very lucky to have living language (Arrernte) and am grateful to be supported to learn from my own mob.”
~ Declan Furber Gillick
About Poetry in First Languages
PIFL supports First Nations students in creating poetry in first languages by connecting them to First Nations poets, Elders and Language Custodians on country. Our aim is to strengthen connections of First Nations students to country, language and community to empower pride in their cultural identities resulting in enhanced wellbeing.
Our PIFL project also creates employment opportunities for First Nations poets and artists, both emerging as established. Read poems commissioned for PIFL.
"If we write the poems, the plays and the stories. If we share those, then that narrative becomes one that is being spoken, rather than an underlying silent conversation that needs to be had.'
~ Kirli Saunders