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Kevin Gilbert Biography

(1933–93), The Cherry Pickers, End of Dreamtime, People ARE Legends, The Blackside

aboriginal australia black ‘white’

Australian part-Aboriginal writer, born in Condoblin, New South Wales. Orphaned at seven, and brought up in welfare homes and by relations, he worked as a labourer, and married early. Found guilty in 1956 of murdering his wife, Gilbert was sentenced to life imprisonment, and in this environment developed interests in both art and literature. On his parole in 1971, The Cherry Pickers (perf. 1971; pub. 1988), written in prison, was the first play by an Aboriginal writer to be performed in Australia. A book of verse, End of Dreamtime (1971), was heavily edited and changed without Gilbert's permission; an authorized version of his poems is People ARE Legends (1978), while The Blackside (1990) collects the best of Gilbert's past work, together with later verse to give a formidable impression of his talent, and a searing reflection on modern Australia. The experience of ‘white’ interference with Aboriginal texts was discussed by some of his subjects in the series of interviews, Living Black: Blacks Talk to Kevin Gilbert (1977) where the ‘white’ machinery of the tape recorder was suspect even in black hands. He has continued his work of promoting direct representation of Aboriginal literature in Inside Black Australia: An Anthology of Aboriginal Poetry (1988) and has written of the environmental and historical factors in contemporary Aboriginal culture in Because a White Man'll Never Do It (1994). He has also published books for children.

Martin Gilbert (Martin John Gilbert) Biography - (1936– ), (Martin John Gilbert), In Search of Churchill, The European Powers, 1900–1945 [next]

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about 6 years ago

I am emailing to try to contact the Widow of Kevin Gilbert Aboriginal Author and Playwrite.
I need permission to use his beautiful poem "The Sacred Earth" in a Booklet.
Thank you
Marlene Jackamarra

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almost 8 years ago

hi can i see a pic of u.