Lionel Fogarty

(1958 - / Queensland / Australia)

Biography of Lionel Fogarty

Lionel Fogarty poet

Lionel Fogarty is an Indigenous Australian poet and political activist.

He was born in 1958 at Barambah (now called Cherbourg Aboriginal Reserve) in Queensland where he grew up. He has been involved in Aboriginal activism from his teenage years, mainly in Southern Queensland on issues such as Land Rights, Aboriginal health and deaths in custody. His brother, Daniel Yock died at the hands of police in 1993. His poetry, while in no way dismissable as simply 'political poetry', can be seen as an extension of these activities on another front. Common themes are the maintenance of traditional aboriginal culture and the everyday realities of European occupation. Among the most 'experimental' of contemporary Australian poetry, his work has sometimes been described as 'surrealist'. Certainly large amounts of Indigenous Language, which white Australians sometimes find confronting, are employed but in part as an attempt to further dialogue between Australian cultures.

Lionel Fogarty's Works:

Yoogum Yoogum. (Penguin: Ringwood Vic., 1982)
Ngutji illustrations by Lyn Briggs. (Spring Hill QLD: Murrie Coo-ee, 1984)
New and Selected Poems, Munaldjali, Mutuerjaraera. (Melbourne: Hyland House, 1995)
Minyung Woolah Binnung: What Saying Says. (Southport QLD: Keeaira Press, 2004)
Dha'lan Djani Mitti: Collected Poems. (Cambridge: Salt, 2007?)

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A Lie

Way out in the valleys and
mountain ranges of light

You came quiet in roaring tide
in the sunset lagoon
How softly whispers the river
and streams in endless waters
can’t tell a lie.

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