UQP acquires Evelyn Araluen’s debut poetry collection
University of Queensland Press has recently announced the acquisition of Evelyn Araluen’s debut poetry collection, Dropbear.
Dropbear will be published in February 2021. It’s the second book by an inaugural Next Chapter recipient to be acquired by UQP, after Adam Thompson’s short story collection Born Into This.
Evelyn Araluen says: ‘This manuscript has had a long journey to fruition. The poems in this collection have been written across several years of critical and creative thinking, and I’m proud of myself and the many networks who have supported my work to finally be ready to share. Dropbear features poems and fragments of verse essay that seek to exorcise the spectres, tropes and debris of empire, and study the love and lore which has allowed us as First Nations people to move towards the radical remembering and reimagining of our sovereignty. It’s an honour to be able to develop this project alongside Ellen van Neerven, who will be my poetry editor, and to join the amazing list of Blak writers who have published with UQP. I hope I do them justice.’
Publisher Aviva Tuffield says: ‘UQP is honoured to be publishing Evelyn Araluen’s debut. Evelyn is one of the most impressive emerging poets and critics writing today, and anyone who has seen her read her work live can attest to the power of her performance skills too. Araluen’s poetry is both deeply personal and informed by rigorous research into the colonial silencing strategies present throughout Australian literature. Dropbear will be an important addition to the list of exceptional poetry collections by First Nations poets that have appeared in recent times.’
Evelyn Araluen is a poet, researcher, educator and co-editor-in-chief of Overland Literary Journal. Her work has been awarded the Judith Wright Poetry Prize, the Nakata Brophy Prize for Young Indigenous Writers, and a Wheeler Centre Next Chapter Fellowship. Born and raised in Dharug country, she is a descendant of the Bundjalung nation.
As an inaugural recipient of The Next Chapter, Evelyn was mentored by author and academic Tony Birch. You can watch Evelyn and Tony discuss their mentorship collaboration at the 2019 Sydney Writers’ Festival alongside two other pairs of mentors and mentees here.
You can also watch Evelyn read her poem ‘Dropbear Poetics’, and chat with Gomeroi poet and editor Alison Whittaker, as part of the Fire Front poetry showcase event here. Finally, watch Evelyn interview four emerging First Nations taking part in the second year of The Next Chapter scheme about their creative processes, writing for Blak and settler readerships, and how they respond to expectations of genre, character and identity, here.