People are Legends single work   poetry   "Kill the legend butcher it with your acute cynicisms"
Issue Details: First known date: 1971 1971
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Publication Details of Only Known VersionEarliest 2 Known Versions of

  • Appears in:
    y End of Dream-Time Kevin Gilbert , Sydney : Island Press , 1971 Z100553 1971 selected work poetry Sydney : Island Press , 1971 pg. 15
  • Appears in:
    y People are Legends : Aboriginal Poems Kevin Gilbert , St Lucia : University of Queensland Press , 1978 Z118007 1978 selected work poetry St Lucia : University of Queensland Press , 1978 pg. 54
  • Appears in:
    y The Blackside: People are Legends and Other Poems Kevin Gilbert , South Yarra : Hyland House , 1990 Z337698 1990 selected work poetry South Yarra : Hyland House , 1990 pg. 68
  • Appears in:
    y Macquarie PEN Anthology of Aboriginal Literature Anita Heiss (editor), Peter Minter (editor), Nicholas Jose (editor), Crows Nest : Allen and Unwin , 2008 Z1483175 2008 anthology poetry drama prose correspondence criticism extract (taught in 19 units)

    'An authoritative survey of Australian Aboriginal writing over two centuries, across a wide range of fiction and non-fiction genres. Including some of the most distinctive writing produced in Australia, it offers rich insights into Aboriginal culture and experience...

    'The anthology includes journalism, petitions and political letters from both the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, as well as major works that reflect the blossoming of Aboriginal poetry, prose and drama from the mid-twentieth century onwards. Literature has been used as a powerful political tool by Aboriginal people in a political system which renders them largely voiceless. These works chronicle the ongoing suffering of dispossession, but also the resilience of Aboriginal people across the country, and the hope and joy in their lives.' (Publisher's blurb)

    Crows Nest : Allen and Unwin , 2008
    pg. 77
  • Appears in:
    y Macquarie PEN Anthology of Australian Literature Nicholas Jose (editor), Kerryn Goldsworthy (editor), Anita Heiss (editor), David McCooey (editor), Peter Minter (editor), Nicole Moore (editor), Elizabeth Webby (editor), Crows Nest : Allen and Unwin , 2009 Z1590615 2009 anthology correspondence diary drama essay extract poetry prose short story (taught in 23 units)

    'Some of the best, most significant writing produced in Australia over more than two centuries is gathered in this landmark anthology. Covering all genres - from fiction, poetry and drama to diaries, letters, essays and speeches - the anthology maps the development of one of the great literatures in English in all its energy and variety.

    'The writing reflects the diverse experiences of Australians in their encounter with their extraordinary environment and with themselves. This is literature of struggle, conflict and creative survival. It is literature of lives lived at the extremes, of frontiers between cultures, of new dimensions of experience, where imagination expands.

    'This rich, informative and entertaining collection charts the formation of an Australian voice that draws inventively on Indigenous words, migrant speech and slang, with a cheeky, subversive humour always to the fore. For the first time, Aboriginal writings are interleaved with other English-language writings throughout - from Bennelong's 1796 letter to the contemporary flowering of Indigenous fiction and poetry - setting up an exchange that reveals Australian history in stark new ways.

    'From vivid settler accounts to haunting gothic tales, from raw protest to feisty urban satire and playful literary experiment, from passionate love poetry to moving memoir, the Macquarie PEN Anthology of Australian Literature reflects the creative eloquence of a society.

    'Chosen by a team of expert editors, who have provided illuminating essays about their selections, and with more than 500 works from over 300 authors, it is an authoritative survey and a rich world of reading to be enjoyed.' (Publisher's blurb)

    Allen and Unwin have a YouTube channel with a number of useful videos on the Anthology.

    Crows Nest : Allen and Unwin , 2009
    pg. 801

Works about this Work

Sexual Violation and the 'Amoral' Woman in Aboriginal Verse Amanda Rooks , 2012 single work criticism
— Appears in: Antipodes , June vol. 26 no. 1 2012; (p. 49-54)
Writing Their Own History : 'Aboriginal Australia' in the Poetry of Jack Davis and Kevin Gilbert Deepti Sharma , 2012 single work criticism
— Appears in: IJAS , no. 5 2012; (p. 84-97)
This paper : focuses on the history emerging out of the poems of these two writers Davis and Gilbert in the context of New Historical perspective.' (85)
'Why, White Man, Why?' : White Australia as the Addressee of Apostrophe in Contemporary Aboriginal Writing Russell West-Pavlov , 2002 single work criticism
— Appears in: Zeitschrift fur Anglistik und Amerikanistik , vol. 50 no. 2 2002; (p. 166-178) Imaginary Antipodes : Essays on Contemporary Australian Literature and Culture 2011; (p. 23-36)
'Contemporary Australian indigenous literature is characterised by a remarkably prevalent use of apostrophic address directed at the white reader. This mode of direct address in black literary texts draws attention to the political dynamics moulding reader-writer relations in contemporary Australia. The article examines numerous examples of this direct mode of address in prose, poetry and drama, and argues that this direct mode of address is a central element in the message of black writers. The use of apostrophe implies the active 'positioning' of the white reader on the part of the indigenous speaker; only by virtue of this positioning is the reading process made possible. The direct mode of address in these texts thus demands that the reader take up a stance characterised by a readiness to listen attentively to black literary voices.' (Author's abstract)
The Poetry of Politics : Australian Aboriginal Verse Adam Shoemaker , 1989 single work criticism
— Appears in: Black Words, White Page : Aboriginal Literature 1929-1988 1989; (p. 179-229)
In this chapter the broad range of Aboriginal verse is examined to illustrate the diversity and talent of contemporary Black Australian poets. Shoemaker argues that any dismissal of Aboriginal poetry as simply propaganda is inaccurate and unfair. Aboriginal poetry ranges from the overtly political to celebrations of nature. The political stance of the writers is considered as well as the particular social conditions in which the writers live - and which they often address in their work. The works of Aboriginal poets Jack Davis, Kevin Gilbert, Colin Johnson, Lionel Fogarty and Aileen Corpus are examined. To emphasise the distinctive elements of writing produced by Aboriginal poets, Shoemaker provides a brief comparison to the work of selected white poets, Les Murray and Bruce Dawe. He also demonstrates the Fourth World dimension and increasingly oral predisposition of Australian Aboriginal verse by contrasting it with the poetry of contemporary Canadian Indian writers.
'Why, White Man, Why?' : White Australia as the Addressee of Apostrophe in Contemporary Aboriginal Writing Russell West-Pavlov , 2002 single work criticism
— Appears in: Zeitschrift fur Anglistik und Amerikanistik , vol. 50 no. 2 2002; (p. 166-178) Imaginary Antipodes : Essays on Contemporary Australian Literature and Culture 2011; (p. 23-36)
'Contemporary Australian indigenous literature is characterised by a remarkably prevalent use of apostrophic address directed at the white reader. This mode of direct address in black literary texts draws attention to the political dynamics moulding reader-writer relations in contemporary Australia. The article examines numerous examples of this direct mode of address in prose, poetry and drama, and argues that this direct mode of address is a central element in the message of black writers. The use of apostrophe implies the active 'positioning' of the white reader on the part of the indigenous speaker; only by virtue of this positioning is the reading process made possible. The direct mode of address in these texts thus demands that the reader take up a stance characterised by a readiness to listen attentively to black literary voices.' (Author's abstract)
Sexual Violation and the 'Amoral' Woman in Aboriginal Verse Amanda Rooks , 2012 single work criticism
— Appears in: Antipodes , June vol. 26 no. 1 2012; (p. 49-54)
The Poetry of Politics : Australian Aboriginal Verse Adam Shoemaker , 1989 single work criticism
— Appears in: Black Words, White Page : Aboriginal Literature 1929-1988 1989; (p. 179-229)
In this chapter the broad range of Aboriginal verse is examined to illustrate the diversity and talent of contemporary Black Australian poets. Shoemaker argues that any dismissal of Aboriginal poetry as simply propaganda is inaccurate and unfair. Aboriginal poetry ranges from the overtly political to celebrations of nature. The political stance of the writers is considered as well as the particular social conditions in which the writers live - and which they often address in their work. The works of Aboriginal poets Jack Davis, Kevin Gilbert, Colin Johnson, Lionel Fogarty and Aileen Corpus are examined. To emphasise the distinctive elements of writing produced by Aboriginal poets, Shoemaker provides a brief comparison to the work of selected white poets, Les Murray and Bruce Dawe. He also demonstrates the Fourth World dimension and increasingly oral predisposition of Australian Aboriginal verse by contrasting it with the poetry of contemporary Canadian Indian writers.
Writing Their Own History : 'Aboriginal Australia' in the Poetry of Jack Davis and Kevin Gilbert Deepti Sharma , 2012 single work criticism
— Appears in: IJAS , no. 5 2012; (p. 84-97)
This paper : focuses on the history emerging out of the poems of these two writers Davis and Gilbert in the context of New Historical perspective.' (85)
Last amended 30 Sep 2009 08:25:35
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