Thursday, March 9, 2017

Ali Cobby Eckermann, who was a resident at the University of Iowa’s International Writing Program in 2014, was recently selected for a 2017 Windham-Campbell Prize in poetry. Eckermann, a Yankunytjatjara Aboriginal poet and visual artist from South Australia, is one of eight writers who will be recognized with a $165,000 individual prize this year.

According to Windham-Campbell, Eckermann was awarded for a body of work that includes Inside My Mother, a collection of poetry which she describes as an “emotional timeline” of the Stolen Generations—the thousands of Aboriginal children taken from their families by the Australian government between 1910 and 1970. Eckermann herself was taken from her mother, and had her own son taken from her. After many years of forced estrangement, they all have since been reunited.

Established in 2013, the Windham-Campbell Prizes are coordinated through Yale University and aim to call attention to literary achievement and provide writers with the opportunity to focus on their work independent of financial concerns. English language writers from anywhere in the world are eligible. Prize recipients are nominated confidentially and judged anonymously. This is the first year that poets were included alongside writers of nonfiction, fiction and drama.

Eckermann will be honored at the Windham-Campbell Festival, which takes place Sept. 13-15 at Yale.

External links:

Eckermann discusses her “life-changing” win with The Guardian

Eckermann talks about her craft with IWP’s “On the Map” series