Yvette Holt

Yvette Holt heralds from the Bidjara Nation of Queensland, born and raised in Brisbane, Yvette is a multi-award winning poet, academic and feminist. She has lectured on Aboriginal Women Studies and Australian History in an Indigenous Context at the University of Queensland and the Australian Catholic University respectively. Her research has been in Indigenous Australian literature with a particular focus on Aboriginal womens’ poetry, Yvette is also a passionate advocate for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women and their leadership on a state and national level.

Her prizes include the Scanlon Prize, the Victorian Premier’s Literary Award for Indigenous Writing for her collection, Anonymous Premonition, and the 2010 Kate Challis Award.



Always My Lover

my lover the colour of candescent brandy seducing an Indian summer/
my lover the reason I leave diamond kisses scattered across an auburn, morning waist/
my lover, skin sweeter then Belgian chocolate dusted with perfumed spices/
my lover amethyst fingers endlessly melting every breath behind my sigh/
my lover the reason I read poetry to our unsuspecting goldfish/
always my love, forever my lover/



(Dedicated to Cheyenne Holt)
I love my suburban backyard and sharing it with you
lying on the trampoline just mother and daughter
and making funny animal shapes out of the soft marshmallow clouds
then when night falls we begin to count the twinkling stars on our hands and feet laughing at the passing
red kangaroos flying high above our mango tree
I love watching you transplant a leaf from our garden as you impatiently wait for it to grow
sometimes I squint while trying on new clothes in front of her though because no matter what I buy or choose to wear I always seem to
end up looking like a six foot-tall full-figured Barbie doll or maybe even a Ken
I like playing big sissy with you and rolling around on my bed, begging you to stop tickling me until I fall hard
onto the floor then I get all too serious and fed up but you just laugh hysterically and say ‘C’mon mummy that was
fun let’s do it again’
I look forward to dancing with you every Sunday morning and singing ‘I am woman hear me roar’ karaoke style
with my tired and worn-out hair brush
I love calling you from interstate and telling you I’ll be home tomorrow
there are so many things I love about motherhood but we keep it real and have our fair share of difficult moments
too like homework time, always radioactive in our neck of the woods, or asking her to clean out her bedroom for
the umpteenth time because I’m unable to see the carpet
and yes I know I totally freaked out when you told your school friends that Mr. Bean was really your father
because at the next P & C meeting I felt like the black adder
but through it all if motherhood were a mountain then you’ve taken me to the highest peak and if daughters were
flowers growing in the garden
you would always be me one and only sweet                     


Trippin’Over Your Tongue

The littering of literature fills my living space
I break and enter like a thief in the night
Selling my words on the black market page
Pawning my thoughts for a night on the town
Then peeling the label from a bus shelter wall
Trading my soul for a leather bound classic
Collecting collectibles
Like a crazed butterfly
Embracing your tongue
Before you have spoken
Recycling your dreams
Triggering my pen
Before I commence
Exchanging your whisper
For a reloaded quill
Sifting through texture on
The black poet’s corner
Moulding your ideas
Into something more or less
Bringing to boil
A melting pot of languages
Simmering over time
Sprinkling through the ages
To be or not to be
Obesity of our words
Gathering up the pounds
Charring the midnight ink
“Motherhood” and “Tirppin’ Over Your Tongue” first appeared in Anonymous Premonition, (University of Queensland Press, 2008)