Ruby Moonlight by Ali Cobby Eckermann
Flood Editions ISBN 978-0-9903407-2-0 $14.95
The first book by an Aboriginal Australian poet published in the U.S.
Through a series of compact lyrics, Ali Cobby Eckermann’s Ruby Moonlight tells the story of a young Aboriginal woman in the late nineteenth century who survives the massacre of her entire family. Wandering alone through Ngadjuri land, in South Australia, she encounters a luckless Irish trapper whose loneliness matches her own. Drawn together for comfort, they discover a momentary paradise along riverbanks and across arid plains that proves fragile in the face of frontier violence and colonization.
“These innovative poems take up traditional narrative voices, bringing past conflicts vividly to life with short lines that are lucid, refined, and luminous. Colonialism and survival are set against the natural world, love, and the desire for human engagement. The writing is delicate yet strong, the tone is pitched so well the reader is not distracted by the agile technique that carries the narrative forward.” —Judges’ citation, New South Wales Book of the Year Award
[Photograph by Kathleen Maris, International Writing Program]
Ali Cobby Eckermann is a celebrated poet of the Yankunytjatjara and Kokatha people. Born on Kaurna land in 1963, she was one of the “Stolen Generations,” children of Aboriginal Australian descent who were removed from their families by government agencies and church missions. Consequently, she was adopted as a baby into the Eckermann family. As an adult, she reconnected with her mother Audrey, and four years later with her son Jonnie. After more than thirty years in the Northern Territory, she now lives in the village of Koolunga, South Australia, where she has renovated the old general store as an Aboriginal writers retreat. Since the publication of little bit long time in 2010, she has published and performed her work widely.