I told you this was a thirst so great it could carve rivers.
This fierce debut from award-winning writer Evelyn Araluen confronts the tropes and iconography of an unreconciled nation with biting satire and lyrical fury. Dropbear interrogates the complexities of colonial and personal history with an alternately playful, tender and mournful intertextual voice, deftly navigating the responsibilities that gather from sovereign country, the spectres of memory and the debris of settler-coloniality. This innovative mix of poetry and essay offers an eloquent witness to the entangled present, an uncompromising provocation of history, and an embattled but redemptive hope for a decolonial future.
‘For many readers, this will open up the exciting possibilities of blending poetry, memoir and theory, and it makes for a great book club choice. Araluen is a poet I’ll be keeping my eye on, and Dropbear a collection I’ll return to.’ Readings Monthly
‘Dropbear has a compelling flow that is maintained by shifts in forms and by a consistently intimate storytelling voice... It is a remarkable collection: rich in artistry, knowledge, and insight.’ Australian Book Review
‘Dropbear is a living testimony to the power of words in the minds and hands of First Nations poets, activists and scholars as the works within this book speak beyond the surface to a deeper time and to bigger issues of unfinished business... a work of agency and radicalism.’ Sydney Review of Books
‘The book's distinguishing factor is the playful and acerbic manner in which the Indigenous writer points out how Australian kitsch, flora and fauna, and beloved bush ballads are a far more dominant trope in our culture than the lasting realities of settler politics and violence.’ The Big Issue
‘With subtlety and an occasional razor, Araluen interrogates colonial violence, conveys love of Country and family, and critiques the form itself, which has too often misrepresented Aboriginal people.’ Tony Birch for The Sydney Morning Herald
‘serious, witty, fun, satirical, demanding, accusing and curious. It is breathtaking in its courage and honesty, its heartbreaking memorialisation of history and its frantic hope for the future.’ Cass Moriarty