Lionel Fogarty

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Lionel Fogarty (born 1958) is an Indigenous Australian poet and political activist.

Life and career[edit]

He was born in 1958 at Barambah (now called Cherbourg Aboriginal Reserve) in Queensland, where he grew up.[1]

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 the back of a police van shortly after being arrested, in 1993.[2] His poetry, while in no way dismissible 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.

Fogarty has been involved with not-for-profit poetry organisation, The Red Room Company, participating in Unlocked, a program for inmates in New South Wales correctional centres, as well its creative projects including Clubs and Societies and The Poet's Life Works.[3]

Published Works[edit]

  • Selected Works 1980-2016 (, 2017)
  • Eelahroo (Long Ago) Nyah (Looking) Möbö-Möbö (Future) (Vagabond Press, 2014)
  • Mogwie-Idan: Stories of the Land (Vagabond Press, 2012)
  • Connection Requital (Vagabond Press, 2010)
  • Yerrabilela Jimbelung: Poems About Friends and Family, with Yvette Walker and Kargun Fogarty (Keeaira Press, 2008)
  • Minyung Woolah Binnung: What Saying Says (Keeaira Press, 2004)
  • New and Selected Poems: Munaldjali, Mutuerjaraera (Hayland House, 1995)
  • Booyooburra: A Tale of the Wakka Murri with illustrations by Sharon Hodgson (Hayland House, 1993)
  • Jagera (Murri Coo-ee, 1990)
  • Ngutji (Murri Coo-ee, 1984)
  • Kudjela (Murri Coo-ee, 1983)
  • Yoogum Yoogum (Penguin, 1982)
  • Kargun (Murri Coo-ee, 1980)

Literary Awards[edit]

  • Kate Challis Raka Award for Mogwie-Idan: Stories of the Land, 2015
  • Scanlon Award for Indigenous Poetry, 2012
  • Aust Council for the Arts: Promotional And Presentation Grant Award Literature Board, 2006
  • Aust Council for the Arts – Travel Grant Award, toward promotional activities in UK, Italy and Spain, 1995
  • Queensland OPAL Award – Murri Achievement (Writers) Award, 1994
  • Patricia Weickhardt Award, 1989



  1. ^ "Lionel Fogarty (1958 – )", Australian Poetry Library, archived from the original on 10 March 2015 
  2. ^ "Marchers pay a silent tribute to Daniel Yock. A peaceful 4000". The Canberra Times. 18 November 1993. p. 17. 
  3. ^ "Lionel Fogarty biography". The Red Room Company. Retrieved 20 September 2012.