Inside My Mother

Ali Cobby Eckermann



In her memoir Too Afraid to Cry, published in 2013, Indigenous poet Ali Cobby Eckermann related how she had been tricked away from her mother as a baby, repeating the trauma her mother had suffered when she was taken from her grandmother many years before. Eckermann in turn had to give her own child up for adoption. In her new poetry collection, Inside My Mother, she explores the distance between the generations created by such experiences, felt as an interminable void in its darkest aspects, marked by sadness, withdrawal, yearning and mistrust, but in other ways a magical place ‘beyond the imagination’, lit by dreams and visions of startling intensity, populated by symbolic presences and scenes of ritual and commemoration, chief amongst them the separation and reunion of mother and child. Though the emotions are strong, they are expressed simply and with a sense of significance in nature which reminds one of the poetry of Oodgero Noonuccal, whose successor Eckermann is.


Print ISBN : 978-1-922146-88-5
pp : 96
Published : July 2015


About the Author

Ali Cobby Eckermann’s first collections of poetry little bit long time and Kami (2010) both quickly sold out their first print runs. Her verse novel His Father’s Eyes was published by OUP in 2011. Her second verse novel Ruby Moonlight won the inaugural kuril dhagun National Manuscript Editing Award and the 2013 NSW Premier’s Literary Award for Poetry and Book of the Year Award. In 2017, Ali won the Windham-Campbell prize, worth AUD$215,000.


A speech given by Candy Royalle at the Stella prize longlist announcement on 7 February.


Sydney Morning Herald
The Compulsive Reader
The Compulsive Reader – Interview
A Bigger Brighter World


Winner of 2017 Windham-Campbell Prize
SMH – Windham-Campbell
Adelaide Advertiser – Windham-Campbell


The Guardian: ‘Ali Cobby Eckermann on winning the world’s richest writing prize: “It’s taken time to adjust”‘