Three Poems by 2021 Red Room Fellow Ellen van Neerven


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Below are three poems from 2021 Red Room Poetry Fellow Ellen van Neerven's project, Kweensland: Sovereign Bodies and the Colonial Nation-State, which they worked on while in residence at Bundanon, on Wodi Wodi and Yuin Country.

The work selected is called Kweensland: Sovereign Bodies and the Colonial Nation-State, it’s about us as queer First Nations people - our traditional country does sit within the parameters of what is now called Queensland but our sovereignty was never ceded. For thousands of years pre-Invasion, our families lived and thrived here and despite colonial-neoliberal disruption we continue to practice a connection to Dhagun.

It’s about our gender diversity before the ships came. about listening deeply to Dhagun and stories that have been silenced. This project is an ode to what to some are small protests, and small details, but to me, are revolutions. 

I’m looking forward to the residency in July on Wodi Wodi Yuin country, looking forward to immersing myself in the writing, running workshops with community and presenting the poetry that comes out of this time with you all in the future.