'During the last two decades of the 20," century, Aboriginal writers of biography and autobiography opened up new fields of literature in Australian writing. Readers have since been getting different perspectives on Aboriginal people and their lives, the untold version not previously written in the history books by the dominant society. When Aborigines write their life stories, these stories are based on their own personal experiences; the writers are being introspective or subjective. Academic writers and government researchers try to be objective when investigating Aboriginal lives, lifestyles and cultures. These research writings, from such disciplines as anthropology, come from the dominant culture's general concepts of Aboriginal people collectively, and can be biased when comparing Aboriginal lives and cultures with those from the dominant society. Aboriginal writers, in telling their life stories, express their emotions of grief and despair through loss of land and families, and the struggle to survive throughout their lives. Now it is through their literary endeavours that they are rewriting Australia's history; their input in different genres like biography and autobiography are based on the Aborigines' need to reveal another history in Australia, a black history that has been hidden. Through the writer's life experiences, the reader gains a more personalise' account of how Indigenous Australians perceive their respective land, their culture and their people. Poetry, too, like the works of Jack Davis' and Oogdgeroo of the tribe Noonuccal, helps express their innermost feelings how they see environment, which is contrary to the dominant culture's views or ideologies. However, except for David Unaipon who wrote in the 1920s, it is only in the last few decades, when more and more Aboriginal people began writing life stories, that Aboriginal literature has been accepted as a legitimate genre within Australian society. These writers give new insights into the different cultures and lifestyles Aborigines, across this country. Their readers will understand that Australia has many diverse diverse Aroriginal cultures that are very different from the dominant society's culture.'(Introduction)
Explores the passage of Australian poetry from 1788 to the early 1970s, discussing why the anthology focuses on 'articulate, personal poetry', and is weighted toward the fruitful period after 1930. Highlights important themes and concerns of Australian poetry - the quest for an Antipodean Eden, the pursuit of Romantic idealism within a strongly secular culture, and the need to define an Australian vision and identity against English culture - and assesses the individual contributions of major poets.