Ali Cobby Eckermann's Poetry

The crowd became quiet. The sun glistened gold through the rafters. Black cockatoos flew overhead during Ali Cobby Eckermann’s reading here at Kalang Retreat. The next-door neighbour’s pet dingo circled in and out of the crowd as if following ghosts. It was as if the natural world collaborated, paying respect, while listening to some of the greatest poetry Australia has on offer. And for the audience, Ali Cobby Eckermann’s poetry has the ability to reach into your soul and allow compassion to release its little birds – they talked to us about generational trauma, and the importance of laughter as a means to counter adversity, to set a strong course on board the ‘survival ship’.

Ali Cobby Eckermann spent four days writing, and resting, and we were delighted to make her stay comfortable and convivial. Ali ended her residency at Kalang by presenting a special afternoon reading of her work – and what an outstanding performance, some in the audience were moved to tears. Local Indigenous representatives came out as a healthy sign of support – thank you to those members from Willum Warrain, Baluk Arts and Woor-Dungin who greeted Ali so warmly. Congratulations Ali – your work is still ringing loud and proud in our minds. Salute! 

Kalang Retreat, based on the Mornington Peninsula, acknowledges the custodians and owners of this land, the Boon Wurrung people. We pay our respects to Elders past, present and future and acknowledge that sovereignty was never ceded.

Photo credit: Anne Algar

Kalang Retreat