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Kirli Saunders

MERRIGONGX 2020 Artist Profile

About

Kirli Saunders is a proud Gunai Woman, award-winning international children’s author and poet as well as a teacher. She leads Poetry in First Languages, delivered by Red Room Poetry. Her debut picture book The Incredible Freedom Machines was shortlisted for the Prime Minister’s Literary Awards and CBCA notables. Her poetry collection, Kindred, was shortlisted for the ABIA 2020 Book Awards and FAB Booktopia Awards. She is the inaugural winner of the Daisy Utemorrah Award and University of Canberra ATSI Poetry prize (2019). This year Kirli is an esteemed judge for the 2020 Prime Minister’s Literary Awards, Val Vallis Award, 2020 NSW Aboriginal Woman of the Year and a member of Merrigong Theatre Company’s board.

Kirli will develop her first full length play, Going Home (working title), a story told in two parts, across two timelines and two First Nations lands, set in the regional communities of the south coast of NSW. It explores the healing of intergenerational trauma confronting our Nation’s History and our collective future. Told through a mix of prose, poetry and First Nations language, the work is for a large cast of First Nations performers across a wide age range.

Playwriting Australia has selected this project for their Ignition Script Development program and is one of just seven successful applicants.

Listen to our MERRIGONGX Conversations podcast to hear our Artistic Development Manager Leland Kean chat to Kirli Saunders about her artistic career and process.

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