Black and Lebo: Ellen van Neerven and Michael Mohammed Ahmad

Ellen van Neerven and Michael Mohammed Ahmad discuss the intersections between race, faith, class, gender and sexuality in contemporary Australian literature. With live performances from Ellen and Mohammed’s latest works of fiction and a Welcome to Country by Indigenous elder, Uncle Harry Allie.

Ellen van Neerven is a young Yugambeh woman of the country between the Logan and Albert rivers in South East Queensland. Her first book, Heat and Light, was the recipient of the David Unaipon Award, the Dobbie Literary Award and the NSW Premier’s Literary Awards Indigenous Writers Prize. Ellen’s second book, a collection of poetry, Comfort Food has just been released. Ellen works at State Library of Queensland as managing editor of the black&write!  project which aims to support and promote Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander writers.

Michael Mohammed Ahmad is the director of SWEATSHOP: Western Sydney Literacy Movement and a doctoral candidate at the Western Sydney University Writing and Society Research Centre. He received the 2012 Australia Council Kirk Robson Award for his work in community cultural development in Western Sydney and he won the 2015 Sydney Morning Herald Best Young Novelists of the Year Award for his debut novel, The Tribe (Giramondo 2014). Mohammed’s forthcoming novel, The Lebs, will be published by Giramondo in early 2017.


Date Recorded: 30 Sep 2016
Duration: 30:39 and 1:00:53

Ellen van Neerven and Michael Mohammed Ahmad reading from their work

Ellen van Neerven and Michael Mohammed Ahmad in conversation