Talk us through the inspiration behind your poem ‘Ember’. What images and feelings came to mind while you were writing this piece?
I wanted to write something that felt very raw and elemental, a sort of ‘return to the source’ of humanity. Care and community and strength are things I see in so many of the women in my life, and those teachings of matriarchal systems felt like an important thing to honour for a piece that was commissioned for International Women's Day.
It is thought that language and cultural values are intrinsically connected—for example, the way there are words in some languages that describe feelings that do not exist at all in others. Having written pieces in both Wiradjuri and English, do you find that your poetry changes depending on the language you are writing in?
The poetry and philosophy that are intrinsically imbued in the Wiradjuri language and knowledge systems inform my way of being in the world. Writing in Wiradjuri is so full of layered meaning that the English translations feel incredibly clunky and strangely overblown to explain something that Wiradjuri navigates so gracefully. It is a privilege and honour to be the descendant of such beauty, and something I try to balance in all parts of my life.