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Writing Western Sydney: The Readings
The Readings is a weekly series of videos available on the WestWords Social channels.
Nardi Simpson – Song of the Crocodile
Darnmoor, The Gateway to Happiness. The sign taunts a fool into feeling some sense of achievement, some kind of end- that you have reached a destination in the very least. Yet as the sign states, Darnmoor is merely a gateway, a waypoint on the road to where you really want to be.
Darnmoor is the home of the Billymil family, three generations who have lived in this ‘gateway town’. Race relations between Indigenous and settler families are fraught, though the rigid status quo is upheld through threats and soft power rather than the overt violence of yesteryear.
As progress marches forwards, Darnmoor and its surrounds undergo rapid social and environmental changes, but as some things change, some stay exactly the same. The Billymil family are watched (and sometimes visited) by ancestral spirits and spirits of the recently deceased, who look out for their descendants and attempt to help them on the right path.
When the town’s secrets start to be uncovered the town will be rocked by a violent act that forever shatters a century of silence. Full of music, Yuwaalaraay language and exquisite description, Song of the Crocodile is a lament to choice and change, and the unyielding land that sustains us all, if only we could listen to it. “In Song of the Crocodile, Yuwaalaraay author Nardi Simpson makes a lightning debut.” – Kill Your Darlings
Nardi Simpson is a Yuwaalaraay writer, musician, composer and educator from North West NSW freshwater plains. A founding member of Indigenous folk duo Stiff Gins, Nardi has been performing nationally and internationally for 20 years. Her debut novel, Song of the Crocodile was a 2018 winner of a black&write! writing fellowship.
Song of the Crocodile is published by Hachette Australia
Writing Western Sydney: The Readings and Writing Western Sydney: The Interviews are projects supported by
It’s Poet’s Corner with Ali Cobby Eckerman. Ali Cobby Eckermann’s first collection ‘little bit long time’ was written in the desert and launched her literary career in 2009. In 2013 Ali toured Ireland as Aust. Poetry Ambassador and won the Kenneth Slessor Prize for Poetry and Book Of The Year (NSW) for Ruby Moonlight, a massacre verse novel. In 2014 Ali was the inaugural recipient of the Tungkunungka Pintyanthi Fellowship at Adelaide Writers Week, and the first Aboriginal Australian writer to attend the International Writing Program at the University of Iowa. In 2017 Ali received a Windham Campbell Award for Poetry from Yale University USA and was awarded a Literature Fellowship by the Australian Council for the Arts in 2018. Ali was granted a Civitella Ranieri Fellowship in Italy in 2019 and is currently an Adjunct Professor at RMIT Melbourne.
Poet’s Corner is WestWords’ monthly encounter with celebrated Australian poets, curated by David Adès. Each month a poet is invited to read and talk about their poetry on a theme of the poet’s choice.
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