We will make them together of grasses and winds
We find along the river of time, made of smooth stone
~ Joy Harjo and Ali Cobby Eckermann from 'Story Tree'
Fair Trade is a portal that captures poetic conversations shared between some of the world's leading First Nation poets.
In her book False Divides, Lana Lopesi writes “Indigenous communities, then, do not simply consume electronic media passively, but use it to build shared identities which are local and global at the same time.”
Created by Red Room Poetry as part of Poetry Month and led by producer Anne-Marie Te Whiu, Fair Trade invites six paired poets to weave words across lands and seas, gathering collaborative threads and shining a light on First Nations poetry from Australia and across the globe.
Fair Trade sets sail on World Poetry Day, 21 March with the release of the first commissioned poem 'Story Tree' by Ali Cobby Eckermann and Joy Harjo. Then weekly throughout #PoetryMonth in August 2021, the work produced through the remaining creative collaborations will be shared. Poetic reflections with each of the poets will also be included that explore their creative processes in finding common poetic ground.
Ali Cobby Eckermann and Joy Harjo read 'Story Tree' | Fair Trade collaboration
“This collaboration was a chance to catch up, to speak about where we were, we earthly beings who are in the middle of profound changes, initiated by our human forgetfulness of our connection with earth and all the beings that are Earth or Ekvnvjakv.”
~ Joy Harjo
“When I was asked to write this poem with Joy I felt elated. Our words can sit together as we have done. I hope it is still possible to travel to see her traditional lands. I would like to stand in that place with her. She is my sister, my kangaru.”
~ Ali Cobby Eckermann