"In the early hours my thoughts fly north to the desert—
to a woman I call mother, who took me to Dinner Camp
told me a story, taught me a song, showed me a dance."
K A Nelson was born and raised in Mudgee NSW, K A Nelson left school at 15 and went to ‘tech’ to learn shorthand and typing. A decade or so and a few adventures later, she returned to study with the help of Prime Minister, Gough Whitlam, first at Sydney Teachers College, then at the University of New England. With a Diploma of Teaching (Technical) and a Bachelor of Arts majoring in English literature and Drama, she returned to the desert.
K A Nelson has lived and worked New Zealand, Papua New Guinea, Italy, the Northern Territory and Canberra. After three decades in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander affairs she’s back studying at the University of Canberra, writing a memoir with poetry as part of a Masters by research.
Her greatest achievement and joy has been raising her daughter with lots of love and community development principles.
In this debut collection, Judith Wright Poetry Prize winner, K A Nelson surveys a life lived in inland Australia. Inlandia traces the inner self, recording discoveries as she feels the place out and comes to an understanding of what ‘place’ means. Nelson’s direct poetry makes us think again about what keeps us returning, physically and in memory, to the terrains and people who occupy our shared history.