A pair of

Ragged claws

The Weekend Australian - Review - - Books - Stephen Romei

IN­DIGE­NOUS writer Ali Cobby Eck­er­mann, pic­tured, was the big win­ner at the NSW Pre­mier’s Lit­er­ary Awards, col­lect­ing the $30,000 po­etry prize and $10,000 book of the year award for Ruby Moon­light, pub­lished by Broome-based Maga­bala Books. Ruby Moon­light is se­ries of con­nected po­ems that tell the life story of an in­dige­nous girl who sur­vives a mas­sacre in South Aus­tralia about 1880. That is hard ter­rain, but Cobby Eck­er­mann nav­i­gates it surely, as the judges make clear: ‘‘[She] writes the his­tory of Ruby but also of in­dige­nous peo­ple who were vic­tims of mas­sacres around Aus­tralia dur­ing coloni­sa­tion. The writ­ing evokes vi­o­lence and lone­li­ness, iso­la­tion and

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