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Kirli Saunders is a proud Gunai Woman and award-winning international writer of poetry, plays and picture books. She is a teacher, cultural consultant and artist. In 2020, Kirli was named the NSW Aboriginal Woman of the Year.
Kirli created Poetry in First Languages, delivered by Red Room Poetry. Her debut picture book The Incredible Freedom Machines was shortlisted for the Prime Minister’s Literary Awards and CBCA notables. Her poetry collection, Kindred was shortlisted for the ABIA 2020 Book Awards. Her verse novel, Bindi (Magabala Books) was the inaugural winner of the WA Premier's Book Awards, Daisy Utemorrah Award and will be released in October.
Kirli has four forthcoming titles and her poetry features in anthologies published by Magabala Books, UQP and Penguin. Kirli is the winner of the University of Canberra ATSI Poetry prize (2019). Kirli has been shortlisted for the Nakata Brophy prize in 2018 and 2020. She is an esteemed judge for the 2020 Prime Minister’s Literary Awards, QPF Val Vallis Award and Blake Poetry Prize.
Kirli’s was a finalist in the Contemporary NOW prize, and her artworks works have been commissioned for Wollongong Gallery, Shoalhaven Gallery and Curio Gallery. With the support of Australia Council for the Arts, she will hold her first solo poetic arts exhibition Returning in 2021.
As a playwright, Kirli is co-creating Dead Horse Gap with Merrigong Theatre and South East Arts. Her first Solo play, Going Home has been supported by Playwriting Australia, and will take the stage in 2022.