Look at the Lake: New Poems by Professor Kevin Brophy
To be launched by Tony Birch.
These poems were written across one year, mostly at the rate of a poem a day. The year was 2016. Kevin Brophy spent most of that year in the remote Aboriginal Community of Mulan on the edge of the Great Sandy Desert of Western Australia as a volunteer at the local school, a newcomer to the Kimberley, and as a visitor to this community. Look at the Lake is a selection of those poems, some of them commissioned by locals, all of them discussed with the elders of the Mulan community.
Mulan is home to the traditional Walmajarri speaking custodians of the Indigenous Protected Area (IPA) around Lake Paruku (Lake Gregory or Gregory’s Salt Sea on many maps). These people have known this land along with its stories, songs and rituals for more than 40,000 years. In the dry season they visit the many important traditional sites around the lake, and they fire the red sand spinifex country during their hunting time. They still make use of the seasonal fruits, plants and vegetables in this semiarid desert. Art is important to the community, as is Australian Rules Football, music, and the education of children in the local school. The poems are frank expressions of respect and affection towards the place, the traditions, and the people who welcomed Kevin Brophy into their lives for those two years.
Look at the Lake is published by Puncher & Wattmann.
Image by Professor Kevin Brophy.
Professor Tony Birch, Indigenous writer
Professor Tony Birch
Professor Tony Birch is the inaugural recipient of the Bruce McGuiness Fellowship at Victoria University. He is the author of two acclaimed novels, three remarkable collections of short stories and a book of poetry. In 2017 he became the first Indigenous writer to receive the prestigious Patrick White Award. His novel, *Blood*, was shortlisted for the Miles Franklin Award, and for *Ghost River* he won the Victorian Premiers Award for Indigenous writing in 2016. In his role at Victoria University Dr Birch is researching and writing on the implications of climate change for Indigenous communities.
Professor Kevin Brophy, Professor in Creative Writing
Professor Kevin Brophy
Professor in Creative Writing
University of Melbourne
Kevin Brophy is a Professor in Creative Writing at the University of Melbourne. He is a past winner of the Martha Richardson Medal for Poetry, the Calibre Prize for an outstanding essay, recipient of the Australia Council Rome residency, patron of the Melbourne Poets Union and a life member of Writers Victoria. He has published sixteen books of poetry, fiction and essays. Martin Duwell, in *Australian Poetry Review* has written of Brophy, that his “speculative, imaginative flights are anchored firmly in a place.” This collection continues Brophy’s responses to place, extending this into those stories that attach to place.