More information can be found here.
On September 11 and 12, Kirli Saunders led digital workshops for the NSW Reconciliation Council in partnership with MAAS for over 1000 students from 20 schools. The workshops explored students understandings of Reconciliation and encouraged them to write to this year’s NSW Reconciliation Council School Challenge theme: Our Voices, Our Future. Students were prompted to consider their own visions for reconciliation and write postcards from the future, back to their present selves about the changes evident in a reconciled Australia.
Unspoken Words is a multi-disciplinary artist collective. Their artistic practice is influenced by industry experience as well as backgrounds in community work, activism, and events organization. Although their main focus is writing, they love (and program) storytelling in many modes: spoken word, music, movement, and visual.
Kirli Saunders will deliver Unspoken Words Youth Workshops for classrooms from September 7-17. You can bring storytelling to your classroom or youth group! Primary workshops run by award-winning Gunai poet, writer and teacher Kirli Saunders. Secondary workshops run by spoken word artist and political activist Pola Fanous.
Get your school or youth group involved by contacting firstname.lastname@example.org.
Writer in Residence – Bundanon Trust
Kirli will be writer in residence at Bundanon Trust for Book Week 2018. She’ll share readings of The Incredible Freedom Machines and explore her creative process with 270 students from Jervis Bay PS, Nowra PS, St Michaels, Bomaderry PS and Nowra East PS. During her residency, Kirli will also lead Poetry in First Languages – Yuin workshops with local Custodians, Jacob Morris and Adrian Webster and students from Jervis Bay PS and Nowra East PS, encouraging them to create poetry in Gumea Dharawal about the local landscape and their own perceptions of identity.
NAIDOC Week 2018
The theme for this year’s NAIDOC Week from July 8-15 is ‘Because of her, we can’. Read the articles below on Kirli’s contribution to NAIDOC week in her community:
Illawarra Mercury: Poetry in First Languages published on Bus Backs
Illawarra Mercury: Book Launch Highlights NAIDOC Week Events at UOW
Southern Highlands News: All about Reaching and Teaching for NAIDOC week
Darling Square and Darling Quarter with Red Room Poetry acknowledge the invaluable contributions of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women through poetic moments.
First Nation Poets Jeanine Leane (Wiradjri), Kirli Saunders (Gunai & Gundungurra Custodian), Joel Davison (Gadigal), Evelyn Araluen Corr (Tharawal), Ali Coby Eckermann (Yankunytatjara), Lorna Munro (Wiradjuri/Gamilaroi) present their heartfelt words alongside the visual work of artist, David Cragg.
Immerse yourself in the evocative words of some of Australia’s finest poets on the NAIDOC theme of ‘Because of Her We Can’. Lean into the beautiful languages of our nation’s First People, create a short poem or just let the words flow over you.
Visit the exhibition Friday 6 July – Wednesday 25 July
The exhibition will be installed at Darling Square and Darling Quarter.
Performances Friday 20 July & Saturday 21 July
Darling Square at 5 – 5.30pm & Darling Quarter at 6 – 6.30pm
Join proud Gadigal Poet, Joel Davison and proud Gunai poet Kirli Saunders as they perform poetic works from the Tumbalong Gatherers Exhibition at Darling Square and Darling Quarter over two nights.
Snap a photo of our train banners!
To celebrate NAIDOC week, Red Room Poetry has published excerpts of poetry from Gadigal poet Joel Davison. Share a photo with us on instagram @RedRoomPoetry with the hastag #gadigalpoetry.
Contribute a poem
Red Room Poetry is holding a Twitter poetry competition. Created with community consultation, this competition is about community interactivity, encouraging people to mindfully engage with Gadigal language, poetry and art.
UOW – The Incredible Freedom Machines Book Launch
Join the University of Wollongong’s Faculty of Social Sciences, Early Start Discovery Space and Alumni Relations Team as we launch Kirli Saunders’ debut picture book, The Incredible Freedom Machines, illustrated by Matt Ottley.
The Incredible Freedom Machine follows the wondrous adventures of a young girl with her newly unearthed Freedom Machine. This story encourages students to break boundaries and dream beyond the ordinary.
The book will be available to purchase, and Kirli will be doing a book signing session following a Q&A. Morning tea will be provided.
This event is being held in our Early Start Building (Building 21), in our Christopher and Barbara Abbott Gallery Space located on Level 1.
Kirli Saunders is a proud Gunai woman and UOW Alumni. She is the Manager of Poetic Learning and Cultural Liaison at Red Room Poetry. Kirli founded the Poetry in First Languages project. She is the author of The Incredible Freedom Machines(2018), Our Dreaming (2019) and Happy Ever After (2020). Her poetry collection, Mother, Earth Child, Lover is to be released by Magabala Books in 2019. Kirli was Runner Up in the Nakata Brophy Prize, 2017 and was Highly Commended in Black&Write! 2018. She has been published by Red Room Poetry, Cordite and Overland. In 2018, Kirli will be writer in residence at Bundanon Trust, Q Station and Fremantle Writers Centre.
Register your attendance here.
Kids & YA Festival
This year’s festival includes a diverse and inspiring range of some of Australia’s most prominent authors, illustrators, publishers, and industry professionals. Join Kirli Saunders at the Writing NSW Kids & YA Festival for Picture Books with Heart, Hope and Humour, a panel with Paul Russell, Dub Leffler, Aura Parker, and Sarah Davis (chair) exploring the joys and difficulties of writing picture books tackling diverse themes such as creativity, imagination, courage, freedom, identity, and dementia.
Download the program here.
Kirli Saunders debut picture book, The Incredible Freedom Machines, illustrated by Matt Ottley follows the wondrous adventures of a young girl with her newly unearthed Freedom Machine. This story encourages students to break boundaries and dream beyond the ordinary.
On June 15, Wollongong West Public School Students joined Kirli for discussions about her first book, journey into writing, her love of freedom machines, motorbikes and of breaking boundaries.
Students in K-2 created a soundscape with Kirli and moved through some Drama exercises while students in years 3-6 were prompted to write about their own freedom machines and to explore the creative writing process.
The theme for Refugee Week this year is ‘REFUGEES BRING MORE THAN THEY CARRY’ –– When refugee entrants come to a new country, they bring who they are – their own story, skills, and experience, enriching their new homes and communities.
Join Kirli with Red Room Poetry, SCARF, Illawarra Multicultural Services, Kindart Ed and local creatives as we celebrate Refugee Week 2018 with SHARE!
Date: June 20, 2018
Location: Town Hall, Wollongong
FIREFLIES –– Stories and songs for the under 7’s brought to light by wonderful bilingual and multilingual storytellers. Come and be entertained, clap, sing, dance, move and make friends. All families, all ages welcome. FREE
10am-11am | The Music Lounge
A MOMENT OF SHARING –– Join youth from around the Illawarra as they share traditional tales, poems, dance, music, joy. Performances from Warrawong Intensive English Centre, The Diamonds singing group, and Poetry In First Languages participants, led by Kirli Saunders. Registration essential by email to email@example.com FREE
11.30-1pm | The Music Lounge
REFUGEES BRING MORE THAN THEY CARRY –– When refugee entrants come to a new country, they bring who they are – their own story, skills and experience, enriching their new homes and communities. Join us for an evening of food, photos and stories that showcase our diversity and common humanity. Bookings essential at www.trybooking.com/VUZB Tickets FREE
6pm for 6.30pm start | Wollongong Town Hall
The Incredible Freedom Machines Book Launch
The Incredible Freedom Machines is a poetic and visual feast from debut author, Kirli Saunders and award-winning illustrator, Matt Ottley. The Incredible Freedom Machines follows a young girl as she uncovers her very own precious machine that carries her to all sorts of wonderful places.
Join Kirli Saunders in conversation children’s author, Yvette Poshoglian for the launch of her debut picture book at her favourite writing space, Lower East Cafe (70 Crown Street, Wollongong, New South Wales 2500), 26 May, 2018. Light refreshments will be available from 2:15, with a discussion, starting 2:30pm. A book signing will follow.
Kirli & her 2013 Triumph Thruxton, Knox at the Distinguished Gentleman’s Ride.
CityCoast Motorcycles published a feature article on Kirli ahead of the launch of The Incredible Freedom Machines. You can read more about Kirli’s love of writing and riding motorcycles here.
Girls Write Up
Girls Write Up is a daylong festival for teens aged 12–18 that teaches empowerment through writing and sharing stories; explores the relationship between language, gender and power; and examines the effects of unconscious bias on our sense of self.
Girls Write Up Sydney 2018 will feature speakers including Zoya Patel, Michelle Law, Erin Gough, Saman Shad, Lizzie Nagy, Jenna Guillaume and Kirli Saunders along with many others. Participants will also have the opportunity to sign up for one of several practical workshops, focusing on skills such as writing from place, slam poetry, creative non-fiction, pitching or graphic narratives (workshop places limited).
Book Week at Bundanon
Gunai poet and children’s author, Kirli Saunders will return to Bundanon Trust as the 2018 Bundanon Book Week author. Kirli will present to local primary school students on Tuesday 14 August 2018 at Riversdale. Whilst in residence, Kirli will deliver workshops for her Poetry in First Languages (PIFL) project.
Nakata Brophy Poetry Prize
The Nakata Brophy Short Fiction and Poetry Prize recognises the talent of young Indigenous writers across Australia. Sponsored by the University of Melbourne’s Trinity College, the prize alternates each year between fiction and poetry; this year’s prize is for the best poem (up to 88 lines) by an Indigenous writer under 30.
First place is $5000, publication in Overland’s print magazine, and a three-month writing residency at Trinity College, the oldest student residence at the University of Melbourne; two runner-up prizes are also awarded.
Overland, Trinity College and the judges for the 2017 competition – Jeanine Leane, Toby Fitch and Gayle Allen – are pleased to announce the three writers who placed in the 2017 competition, Raelee Lancaster, Kirli Saunders and Susie Anderson.
The Sound of Picture Books
From September 3-7, 2018, Kirli will be Writer in Residence at the Fremantle Literature Centre for The Sound of Picture Books‘ The Incredible Freedom Machines multimodal performances with Matt Ottley and the Perth Symphony Orchestra.
All performances are tailored to the age groups attending and feature WASO’s superb string quintet, Yamaha’s Alf Demasi, Kirli’s story narration and Matt Ottley’s illustrations shown on a large screen. Matt also demonstrates his illustration and composition techniques. Audiences of all ages will be captivated!
Sessions will fill fast so book early to secure your date and time preference. Contact The Literature Centre – phone 08 9430 6869 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Drum, ABC & AIME
Kirli was invited to share her work as a writer and in the realm of First Nations Langauge revitalization with ABC’s The Drum for an AIME initiative. She worked with Illawarra based videographer extraordinaire, Tad Souden to create her application.
Poetry in First Languages Workshops, Gundungurra Country
On 19-21 March, Gunai poet Kirli Saunders guided students from Moss Vale High School, Mittagong Public School and Moss Vale Public School through the Poetry in First languages resource, specific to Gundungurra Country. Students were connected to First Nations Poets, Elders and Language Custodians on Country, strengthening the connection of First Nations students to Country, language and community to empower students to feel pride in their cultural identities. Listen to Kirli, with Ewan and Shayla from Moss Vale High School talking about their PIFL with ABC Illawarra.
See the Red Room Poetry blog post.