Us Mob Writing is a group of First Nations Australians peoples’ with both emerging and established writers, poets and playwrights. Their writers past and present have written poetry, plays, songs, documentary films, short films, TV dramas, children’s story books, novels, short stories, biographies, and autobiographies.
They include in their company national and international major literary award winners, a national literary awards judge, and multiple nationally and internationally published, performed and produced writers. They meet every third Friday of the month at the ACT Writers Centre Workshop room.
Kerry Reed-Gilbert is a Wiradjuri woman from Central NSW. Kerry is a multi-disciplinary artist she is a known poet and writer within the Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal world of writers, poets and playwrights.
ACTWC: At what age did you begin writing, and what did you write?
Kerry: I think like all of us we all thought we were budding poets and writers at a very early age. I remember writing when I was young but time, opportunity and a big family especially if you’re the youngest can put a damper on you writing that collection of works or that best seller.
ACTWC: A book or poem you often return to is…
K: I have lots of favourites so that’s really hard Oodgeroo Noonuccal (Kath Walker), Jack Davis and my father, Kevin Gilbert. I should tell you that I like the work of Edgar Allan Poe as well.
ACTWC: Full-time or part-time poet?
K: I’m a part time poet/writer and like all of us when I have time and energy I’m gonna write that best seller.
ACTWC: If you we’re offered a brunch with T.S. Eliot or Margaret Atwood, which acquaintance would you opt for, and why?
K: That’s a hard one either one will do for me – it would be deadly, they are both pretty majic to me.
ACTWC: Tell us about your career highlight to date.
K: I’ve been very lucky in 2006 I was awarded by the International Society of Poets with an ‘Outstanding Achievement in Poetry’ award and a ‘Poet of Merit’ Award. In 2005 I toured Aotearoa, New Zealand as part of the Honouring Words 3rd International Indigenous Authors Celebration Tour. In 2003 I was awarded an International Residence from the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Arts Board (ATSIAB) to attend Art Omi, Hudson River Valley New York, USA. And in 1997 I toured South Africa as a performance poet performing in ‘ECHOES’ a national tour of the spoken word. I am the Chair for the First Nations Australian Writers Network. I have been pretty lucky with publishing some books as well.
ACTWC: What is the greatest challenge you find yourself facing when writing?
K: Not enough time or space I have a big extended family and 5 wonderful grandchildren and its hard to find a space to write, time to write.