On Finding Charlotte in the Anthropological Record

Judith Nangala Crispin

The Blake Poetry Prize 2020 winning poem ‘On Finding Charlotte in the Anthropological Record’ by Judith Nangala Crispin.

Judith Nangala Crispin is a poet and visual artist of Bpangerang descent, and is currently poetry editor of The Canberra Times. Judith is also the author of two additional published collections of poems, The Myrrh-Bearers (Puncher & Wattmann, 2015), and The Lumen Seed (Daylight Books, 2017).

The judges for the 2020 Blake Poetry Prize are playwright and award-winning Poet Julie Janson, Charles Sturt University lecturer Lachlan Brown and 2017 Blake Poetry Prize winner Julie Watts. This year, the Prize attracted over 480 entries from across Australia and internationally from countries including The Philippines, The Netherlands, China and the Republic of Congo.

Of the winner, the judges said, “Charlotte, a prose poem about identity stood out with its form, imagery, importance and its truth. It is a poem about a meeting across boundaries of space and time, weighted with the erasure of identity and song lines, of a legacy of broken families, racism and discovery. It is an important Australian poem, tender, real, conversational, she is telling us a story and we enter every word, every vivid image. A poem that all Australians should take the time to read.”