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Lionel Fogarty, Mogwie Idan: Stories of the land

Winner of the 2015 Kate Challis RAKA Award

Shortlisted for the 2014 Victorian Premier’s Literary Award for Indigenous Writing.

Lionel Fogarty is Australia’s foremost experimental and political poet. MOGWIE-IDAN: Stories of the land brings together work from across Fogarty’s career, including poems from the 2012 Scanlon Award-winning Connection Requital, which the judges noted ‘demands that you move out of your comfort zone and encounter, grapple with, and be open to, the power of his words and the way they are placed on the page and the way their rhythms embody the knotty issues you are being pressed to countenance, accommodate and if possible resolve – or at least come to terms with somewhere in your psyche. This is no easy ride – and Fogarty takes no prisoners.’

MOGWIE-IDAN: Stories of the land showcases the intelligence of the Aboriginal grassroots struggle in contemporary Australia, laying open the realness of Lionel Fogarty’s Murri mission poetry. The Aboriginal struggle in Australia is not over, but here handed to the next generations to promote their strength. Biame guide! Biame bless!

‘A most prolific Aboriginal poet, Lionel Fogarty continues to write with powerful passion about issues close to his heart: injustice, land rights, identity, language, black deaths in custody and the ongoing consequences of colonization. Lionel’s writing focuses on his need to face a future without oppression and he demonstrates a desire to pass on his own knowledge and experience through the written word.’    Anita Heiss

'Fogarty’s book of poetry stood out to the judges for the sheer power of the poetry from first to last page. This is the poetry of a mature, confident poet, rich and inventive with language and viewpoint. It is a wide-ranging literary intervention into Australian history and culture. The poetry ranges, in hybrid style, across trans-historical themes in assertive, provocative, defiant, satirical and brilliant verse that gives readers the sense that they will come back to the poems time and time again, and there will still be more to decipher and understand. There is highly inventive twisting and tangling of words such as in the line : ‘Even bulldogs British the law’ condenses colonisation into one succinct line. The poems are a radical critique of settlement – ‘you’, ‘he’, ‘she’, ‘white explorers’ and ‘untribal man singing songs’ – but are also addressed, perhaps too hopefully, ‘to all open-minded people’.' Judges' report for the Kate Challis RAKA Award.

Lionel G.Fogarty, Mogwie Idan: Stories of the land

Co-edited by Ali Cobby Eckermann & with an introduction by Ali Alizadeh.

Cover image and llustrations by Lionel Fogarty.

160pp. 2012.  ISBN 9781922181640

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