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Tais Rose Wae is an award-winning poet and artist gratefully based on Bundjalung Country. Her work explores the interconnections and imprints of maps of lineage, motherhood, and her Aboriginal ancestry and has most recently been reimagined for The Biennale of Sydney, Powerhouse Museum and Tweed Regional Gallery.

Her poetry collection, Riverbed Sky Songs (Vagabond Press), won the 2024 Kenneth Slessor NSW Premier's Literary Award and has been short-listed for the ASAL Mary Gilmore Award.


Her poetry has been awarded runner-up for the Oodgeroo Noonuccal Indigenous Poetry Prize and the Nakata Brophy Prize for Young Indigenous Writers, as well as being recognised amongst the Judith Wright Poetry Prize shortlist and the Peter Porter longlist.


Wae's poetry can be found in publications including the Australian Poetry Anthology, Best of Australian Poetry, Cordite, Overland Literary Journal, Running Dog, West Space Offsite, and Westerly.

Portrait by Lisa Sorgini

2024 NSW Premier's Literary Awards Kenneth Slessor Award for Poetry Judges' comments:

'With its beautiful pacing and intimate lyrical voice, Tais Rose Wae’s Riverbed Sky Songs draws us into its world of making and remaking, its sensuously crafted lines and graceful cadences braiding thought, emotion and image into poems that radiate wonder and beauty. Reading these poems, it feels like we are participating in their unfolding, in physical acts of weaving and shaping ideas and feelings into something real, something ‘to be held / with care, with custodianship’. It is a truly marvellous first book, its freshness of voice and vision promising restoration and renewal in its enchanting music and quiet, pristine beauty.

Riverbed Sky Songs opens with ‘Epilogue to Ceremony’, its first lines ‘We found an early dream of you / in the rockpool fringed with grass’ discovering a space for an exquisite conversation between unborn child and mother. From here a journey expands with the arrival of the child through vision to womb to encompass a poetic encounter with place and self over the first seasons of the child’s life. This intimate, delicate tracery of water and land, self, connection and solitude invites the reader to witness the intricate networks it maps. This is an intuitive, meticulously braided and integrated work of quiet, dauntless power, shaped by a quality of reverent attentiveness.'

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