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Read this and be smarter

Tue, Jan 14, 2020

Read this and be… moved

        Read this and be… unsettled

Read this and be… inspired

Read this and be… challenged

Magabala’s books disrupt, inspire, celebrate and transform. In this series, presented as part of the State Library of Western Australia’s ‘Read this and be… smarter’ project, we profile an excerpt of writing from our new releases and backlist to spark and promote all forms of reading.

In this instalment we are privileged to share the poem 'Quake of the Earth' by proud Gunai woman Kirli Saunders. Kirli is an educator, award-winning international children’s author, poet, emerging playwright and artist. Her debut collection of poetry Kindred is a rhythmic and nourishing tribute to kin, country and love.


She quivered
the shivers of a woman
turned cold with lack of love,
and then she shook
with wretched sobs
that moved us,

and all of the ups
came down
and the ground
was drowned in ceiling plaster
and chandeliers.

And in the aftermath
I thought of you,
and of the nights spent
between those walls
now crumbled.

And I longed for the dry season
still and
lit with new love
and for your body and mine
to collide,
like light fittings
and tiled floors,
like smoke detectors
and skirting boards,
like balconies
and bedroom doors.

I longed for us
to fall,

for us
to be more than
what stood there before.


(p.38-39) Kirli Saunders, Kindred, Magabala Books, 2019

The State Library of Western Australia promotes literacy for all ages. To this end the ‘Read this and be smarter project’ has been developed and profiles a short piece of writing from Australian publications every Monday to Friday to read on your commute or lunch break.