This week on Final Draft I had the great pleasure and privilege of speaking with Tony Birch. Tony is an author, an activist, an academic, a poet and essayist. Tony’s 2019 novel The White Girl about a grandmother striving to protect her granddaughter from the racist policy of removing children from their families, is still widely discussed.Tony and I were speaking because he has two new books out. A collection of poetry entitled Whisper Songs, and a short story collection Dark as Last Night. This is an incredible feat and one that is incredibly difficult in the current climate of lockdown where none of us can wander the shelves of our favourite booksellers and happen upon new works that we might like to explore.Tony’s work moved me to tear with its heart, its willingness to go into the dark places of our society and the zest and verve of its language. So I want to keep championing these incredible new Australian releases because these books need to be discovered…Just remember if you’re loving any of the books we talk about on Book Club - get in touch with your local independent bookseller and order a copy. They are your best resource for discovering new books and need our support at this time...In the eponymous story that opens the collection, Dark As Last Night Birch details a dark tale of domestic abuse. A young girl flees her home as her father becomes violent and is taken in by the strange lady next door.There she learns that this woman is not so strange, so much as she is independent of those minds who would stay silent. A refugee from Europe she has learned that “People say nothing and others die. It is that simple.”Operating almost as a type of fairy tale we are opened up to a world where this girl has a choice in her own fate.Tony Birch’s stories have a way of giving voice to things that we are too often not talking about.In the story Bobby Moses, a small town cop watches an old aboriginal man walking into the town he patrols. Knowing the predominantly white population will disapprove of this incursion the cop questions what to do.While giving the man a ride he learns that Bobby Moses has returned to a town he has no memory of. Taken from a mother he can now only visit in the town’s cemetery Bobby is seeking to reconnect with his land.Each of the stories in Dark as Last Night offer up stitches in a fabric of our social connectedness. These are who we are from the dispossessed and the victimised, to the violent and the racist.Tony Birch tells us these stories in an engaging way that leaves the reader to judge where they stand. I loved the stories in Dark as Last Night as I did the poetry of Whisper Songs.If you’re looking for a stellar read, check out these collections and support local artists!
Great Conversations features interviews with authors and writers, exploring books, writing and literary culture from Australia and the world.Today's episode features Tony Birch discussing his latest a collection of poetry entitled Whisper Songs, and a short story collection Dark as Last Night.Today on the show...The works in Whisper Songs & Dark as Last Night explore themes both personal and universal. Tony writes around the death of his brother, moving into memory to understand loss and carrying on.The poetry of Whisper Songs explore language; the ways we use it to express and to hide our inner world. Tony explores through archival excerpts and reworkings how language is harnessed as a weapon against indigenous people; to strip them of their humanity and place them within the society that has stolen so much from them.Join me as we discover Tony Birch’s Whisper Songs & Dark as Last Night...Want more great conversations with Australian authors?Discover this and many more conversations on Final Draft every week from 2ser.https://2ser.com/final-draft
Radiothon, Tony Birch on Black Palestinian Solidarity, Canberra War Memorial Redevelopment, and Raise the Age Campaign
Monday Breakfast 14 Junewith Phuong and Jacob // Welcome and Acknowledgement to Country // It's Radiothon time! You can donate to keep 3CR on air using https://www.givenow.com.au/cause442 or phone up on 0394198377/ Any amount big or small is appreciated!// Jan Bartlett from Tuesday Hometime interviews Dr Tony Birch on the Free Palestine Melbourne's Nakba Event in May.// Jan Bartlett from Tuesday Hometime speaks with Sue Wareham from the Medical Association for the Prevention of War (MAPW) about concerns over the planned redevelopment of the war memorial in Canberra. // Marisa from Doin Time caught up with Alison and Desley from- Grandmothers against Removals (GMAR) recently to discuss the ongoing systematic racism against Indigenous Australians that has seen another stolen generation. // Tess and Meg from Done by Law report on the Raise the Age campaign, interviewing Meena Singh from the Human Rights Law Centre about increasing the age of incarceration.// Tess and Meg continue the discussion on Raise the Age, speaking with Anoushka Jeronimo from the Youth Law Program at West Justice.// MUSIC:Dig by Chasing GhostsEnergy (Freestyle) by SHRETA
Dr Tony Birch is an activist, historian and essayist. He is the author of three novels - 'The White Girl' (winner of the 2020 NSW Premier's Award for Indigenous Writing and shortlisted for the 2020 Miles Franklin Literary Prize), 'Ghost River' (winner of the 2016 Victorian Premier's Literary Award for Indigenous Writing), and 'Blood' (shortlisted for the Miles Franklin Literary Award). He is also the author of 'Shadowboxing' and four short story collections, 'Dark As Last Night', 'Father’s Day', 'The Promise' and 'Common People', as well as the poetry collection 'Whisper Songs'. Tony appeared on The Garret in 2020 and spoke in-depth about The White Girl. About The Garret Read the transcript of this interview at thegarretpodcast.com. The interview was recorded by Zoom, and we can't wait to start recording in person again soon. You can also follow The Garret on Twitter and Facebook, or follow our host Astrid Edwards on Twitter or Instagram.See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Tony Birch is the author of three novels: the bestselling The White Girl, winner of the 2020 NSW Premier’s Award for Indigenous Writing, and shortlisted for the 2020 Miles Franklin literary prize; Ghost River, winner of the 2016 Victorian Premier’s Literary Award for Indigenous Writing; and Blood, which was shortlisted for the Miles Franklin Award in 2012. He is also the author of Shadowboxing and three short story collections, Father’s Day, The Promise and Common People. In 2017 he was awarded the Patrick White Literary Award for his contribution to Australian literature. In 2021 he will release two new books, a poetry book, Whisper Songs and a new short story collection, Dark As Last Night. Both books will be published by University of Queensland Press. Learn more about Tony at his website: tony-birch.comFind links to purchase Tony’s books on our BookshelfThe conversation in this episode was was recorded in January 2021 as part of a series of webinars presented by APAN, the Australian Palestinian Advocacy Network. Thank you to Jessica Morrison and Sara Saleh from APAN for their work producing the event. Music composed and performed by Nahed Elrayes.
This episode featuring Tony Birch is part of Six Walks an audio walking tour series commissioned by ACCA – Australian Centre for Contemporary Art.Find bio, access notes, images and further information here: https://acca.melbourne/six-walks-episode-one-tony-birch/ABOUT THIS EPISODE:Tony Birch’s walk, along a section of the Birrarung (Yarra) river from the Children’s Farm at Collingwood to the Fairfield ‘pipe-bridge’ and surrounding country, is located on the land of the Wurundjeri People of the greater Kulin Nation. Each time we walk we consider the privilege of being on Wurundjeri land and pay respect not only to their Elders – past, present and emerging – but all of their people. The Birrarung River is an ancient waterway. It precedes the birth of what we know today as Port Phillip Bay by tens of thousands of years. Prior to the formation of Port Phillip Bay and Bass Strait, during the end of the Ice Age, the Birrarung flowed across a land mass known as the Bassian Plains, that joined what we know today as Victoria and Tasmania. The ancient Birrarung eventually flowed into the Southern Ocean. While the contemporary Birrarung River has changed significantly over thousands of years, we know that the original bed of the Ice Age river remains, and can be located around 100 metres below Port Phillip Bay at the heads of the bay. The significance of this geological, cultural and spiritual reality should not be lost on us as we walk by the river today. We are sharing a story of both the past and the present, enmeshed in the country beneath our feet.Tony Birch is an award winning author. He is a frequent contributor to ABC local and national radio, a regular guest at writers’ festivals, and a climate justice campaigner. Read the full bio via the link above.Curators: Annika Kristensen and Miriam KellyAudio technician: Simon CotterABOUT THE SERIES:Six Walks has been conceived to be ideally listened to in situ, with headphones on a personal mobile device. Maps, directions and access notes are available with each walk to assist with orientation.ACCA reminds participants to be aware of their surroundings and to adhere to road safety guidelines at all times. Please note that when undertaking a walk, participants must assume personal responsibility for any liability, injury, loss, or damage in any way connected with their experience of Six Walks.Six Walks can also be listened to from anywhere and at any time and Text versions of each walk are available for download.ACCA acknowledges the support of Creative Victoria in the development of the Six Walks series.
Anna and Annie discuss the 2020 Booker Prize Longlist and the Caine Prize winner, Nudibranch by Irenosen Okojie. Our book of the week is The White Girl by Tony Birch. This novel tells the story of Odette and her granddaughter Sissy in outback Australia. Shortlisted for this year's Miles Franklin Award and winner of the 2020 NSW Premier's for Indigenous Writing. Coming up: our Best Books of 2020 So Far and A Room Made of Leaves by Kate Grenville. Follow us: Email: email@example.com Facebook: Books On The Go Instagram: @abailliekaras and @mr_annie Twitter: @abailliekaras Litsy: @abailliekaras Credits Artwork: Sascha Wilkosz
ACCA Book Club with Tony Birch in conversation with Max Delany
In this session of ACCA's Book Club, author and activist Tony Birch and Max Delany discuss two of Birch's essays about site-specific writing, one written in reflection of a residency in Banff, Canada to research climate change and Indigenous knowledge, and the second considering the ecological pertinence of the walking/reflective/philosophical essay model.For more information, and links to read the essays available here: https://acca.melbourne/program/acca-book-club-tony-birch/
This is a special episode brought to you in collaboration with the Apollo Bay Word Fest for their Warm Winter Words event. This interview with Tony Birch is the first of three linked interviews, followed by conversations with Lucy Treloar and Michael Veitch. In this conversation, Kate and Tony discuss storytelling, the power of place, powerful Aboriginal women and his latest novel The White Girl. The Warm Winter Words event at Apollo Bay Word Fest is supported by Writers Victoria and the Grace Marion Wilson Trust.