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Van Neerven wins ‘Overland’/Melbourne Uni Indigenous writers’ prize

Ellen van Neerven has won this year’s Nakata Brophy Prize for Young Indigenous Writers, administered by Overland and Trinity College at the University of Melbourne.

Van Neerven was selected for the prize for her poem ‘Expert’, ‘a write-back to personal relationships that endanger black women’s bodies and minds’. Two runner-up prizes were also selected: Evelyn Araluen’s ‘Learning Bundjalung on Tharawal’ and Ryan Prehn’s ‘Cassandra’.

Judges Charmaine Papertalk-Green, Overland’s Toby Fitch and Trinity College’s Katherine Firth said this year’s winners were ‘distinctive for their use of voice, tone and syntax, and for their ability to unsettle socially entrenched racist tropes in contemporary contexts’.

Van Neerven receives a three-month writing residency at the University of Melbourne’s Parkville campus and a cash prize of $5000. Her poem will also be published in the next edition of Overland. Araluen’s and Prehn’s poems will be published online.

The Nakata Brophy prize is open to Indigenous writers under the age of 30 for an unpublished work. The prize alternates each year between poetry and short fiction.


Category: Local news