Meet the Barkly writers

David C. Curtis (Indigenous) has been writing for a few years. One of his first stories, What a Fright, won an award in the NT Literary Awards in 2008. He’s a talented writer with half a dozen different projects in progress at present, ranging in themes from the bush to science fiction, and has been published in This Country Anytime Anywhere, an anthology of Indigenous writers published by IAD Press.

Ktima Heathcote (non-Indigenous) is an emerging writer living in Tennant Creek. She coordinates Barkly Writers’ Ink, writes an arts column for Barkly Regional Arts and is having fun writing poems and short stories inspired by the dusty red landscape she now inhabits.

Milly James (Indigenous) is a Warlpiri woman who lives in Tennant Creek. She is an interpreter for the Papula Apparr-Kari Language Centre in Tennant and has had poems published in This Country Anytime Anywhere and Southerly, a highly respected Aboriginal literary journal.

Hans Katakarinja (Indigenous) is a published poet from Tennant Creek with his latest works The Pain Rains, appearing in This Country Anytime Anywhere, and The Long Road appearing in the 2010 November issue of the literary journal Overland.

Adrian McNamara (non-Indigenous) is an emerging writer who has made Tennant Creek his home with his wife and five children. He has started his second novel, The Shelf Packer.

Isobel Martin (non-Indigenous) is a Kiwi, now working at the Tennant Creek Hospital. She began her Red Centre adventure last year, and has a flair for comic timing. She loves to write to family and friends about her experiences and hopes to turn her musings into a column.

Tim Metcalf (non-Indigenous) is an established poet, now based in Tennant Creek, with several poetry books and awards under his belt, including The Solution to Us (2007), The Effective Butterfly (2010), the WB Yeats (ANZ) National Poetry Prize 2000 and Rosemary Dobson National Poetry Award (2005). He is currently Australian Poetry’s cafe poet in residence at Jajjikari cafe, Nyinkka, Nyunyu, Tennant Creek.

Mrs Judy Nakamarra Nixon (Indigenous) is a Warumungu woman from Tennant Creek. A respected elder, she has co-written several books on the local Warumungu language and is an interpreter at Papulu Apparr-Kari Language Centre. She also had her first poem, which she read out in language at the 2010 Desert Harmony Festival, published in This Country Anytime Anywhere.

Maureen O’Keefe (Indigenous) is a Warlpiri woman who was born and raised in Ali-Curung, 170km south-east of Tennant Creek. Maureen is a respected writer and poet who began writing by keeping a personal diary in her twenties. Since that time she has nurtured and extended her passion by creating short stories and poems about her family history and country with a poem published in This Country Anytime Anywhere. In 2010 she was a panellist at the WordStorm Festival in Darwin and in 2011 she was a guest poet at the Sydney Writers’ Festival.

Noeleen O’Keefe (Indigenous) was born on Alexandria Station in the Barkly Tablelands (Northern Territory) in the 1960s. Raised within Wambaya culture, she grew up watching the Elders hold coroborees and ceremonies and she listened to their stories from a long time ago. Noeleen now lives in Tennant Creek where she’s been inspired to write about what she learnt when she lived out bush. “That’s why I wrote The Cremation,” she said. “I was moved to write about what I saw and heard from the Elders.”

Rosemary Plummer (Indigenous) is a Warumungu woman from Tennant Creek. A published poet and writer, she was winner of the NT Literary Awards in 2000 for her poem about her grandmother, Napanangka has gone digging for sandfrogs. Recent publications include the poem Broken Song in This Country Anytime Anywhere and a short story about a desert girl, Hanya Slater, in Bruno’s Song and other stories from the Northern Territory, an anthology of short stories by NT writers.

Heidrun Sieg-dos Santos (non-Indigenous) swept into Tennant Creek in early 2011. Originally from Germany, Ziggy (as she likes to be called) has immersed herself in the town, making friends with everyone, and has started writing poetry with gusto.

Linda Turner (Indigenous) is an emerging writer from Tennant Creek. She works for Red Cross and is on the board for the Council of Elders and Respected Persons and is currently writing her memoirs and a bush tucker recipe book.

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