Kirli Saunders is a proud Gunai woman, with ties to the Yuin, Gundungurra, Gadigal and Biripi people. She currently resides on Dharawal Country.
Kirli is teacher and award winning, international children’s author, poet, emerging playwright and artist. She manages Poetry in First Languages and Poetic Learning at Red Room Poetry. Kirli was shortlisted for NSW Woman of the Year, 2020. Her picture books include Prime Ministers Literary Award Shortlisted, CBCA nominated and internationally published, The Incredible Freedom Machines (Scholastic) and forthcoming, Our Dreaming and Happy Every After (Scholastic), Afloat (Hardie Grant) and Mother Speaks (Magabala).
Her poetry Collection, Kindred was Highly Commended in Black&Write 2018. Kirli was the inaugural winner of the WA 2019 Premiers Literary Awards – Daisy Utemmorah Award, and is currently working on her verse novel, Mother Speaks (Magabala). She is the winner of the University of Canberra ATSI Poetry Prize 2019 and was Runner-up in the Nakata Brophy Prize 2018. Kirli was guest writer for the Australian Embassy, touring Jakarta and Bali in 2019 and will tour China in 2020 for Australia Writes. Her poetry has been published by a number of journals (Cordite, Overland, Planthunter, Mind of Plants, Going Down Swinging and Verity La) and commissioned for public art in Melbourne, Adelaide and Sydney.
Kirli is co-writing her first play, Dead Horse Gap (Merrigong Theatre). Her artwork, has been exhibited in Curio gallery and was shortlisted for the Shoalhaven Gallery Contemporary NOW Art Prize. Kirli will hold her first solo exhibition in 2020 in Wollongong.
In 2019, Kirli performed at NT Writers Festival, Queensland Poetry Festival, Sydney Writers Festival, Enough Said, Word in Hand, PULLiiMA Indigenous Languages Conference, Wollognong Writers Festival and over 60 schools in NSW, WA, and NT. Kirli returned as writer in residence at The Literature Centre, Fremantle this year where she performed The Incredible Freedom Machines with Matt Ottley and the Western Australian Symphony Orchestra in rural WA, at Coco’s Island and Christmas Island.
Kirli’s Writer CV is accessible also accessible here.