from the editor's desk

Oliver Mills, Walking On Air

The Patricia Hackett Prize 2019

Every year, Westerly awards the Patricia Hackett Prize to the strongest work published within the volumes of that year. The prize is announced in the first issue of the following year.

Westerly is thrilled to announce that the winner of the 2019 Patricia Hackett Prize is Cassie Lynch, for ‘Five Haiku’ published in Westerly 64.1Cassie joins a prestigious list of past recipients including Kim Scott, David Whish-Wilson, Judy Johnson, Marcella Polain, and many more. You can read ‘Five Haiku’ order a copy of Westerly 64.1.

The Patricia Hackett Prize is awarded annually since 1965 from a bequest left for this purpose. It remembers the contributions Patricia Hackett made to both theatre and poetry, and her family’s connection with the University of Western Australia. A feature written in remembrance of Miss Hackett was published in Westerly 10.1 in 1965. It is now available as a free download from our digital archive here.

Congratulations Cassie! Westerly thanks you for your beautiful sequence of poems.


Five Haiku—Cassie Lynch


The weeping river / gathers salt from the earth / to embitter the sea

Waliny bilya / baal wedjan djalam boodj-ool / warn wardan nyorn ngibart-abiny

Crying river / it gather salt ground-from / make ocean sad poison-become




Did serpents make the lands of Britain? / do they wonder / where their people went?

Wagyl warn moonboorli-wardan-boodja unna? / baalap kaadatj / windji baalabang moort koorl?

Creator Serpents make beyond-ocean-country yeah? / them know / where their family go?




Storm moving over the ocean / the wind in my lungs / carries salt to my blood

Malka arn wardan koorliny / mar boora nganyang walyan / kangow djalam nganyang ngoop-ak

Storm over ocean moving / wind in my lungs / carry salt my blood-to




The river flows from the hills / through my cerebellum / then out to sea

Bilya baal koorl yal karda mord-ool / koorl boora nganyang nyit-noorakoort / ngoowal wardan-koorl

River it go from hills-out-of / go inside my little-brain / then sea-go-to




A shark has no bones but in the mouth / the body propels the jaws / the heart follows teeth

Madjit baal barang kwetj djel bwora daa / baalang koonger bilang baalang daa-djoorla-k / baalang koort dalang baalang ngorlak

Shark it have bones only inside mouth / its body push its mouth-bone-for / its heart follow its teeth



Cassie Lynch a writer, researcher and consultant living in Perth. She is currently researching a creative PhD on the intersection of Aboriginal and scientific awareness of Deep Time. She is a descendant of the Noongar people and belongs to the beaches on the south coast of Western Australia. Cassie uses the Marribank orthography when writing Noongar language.

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  1. Penny Lee says:

    Thank you Cassie Lynch.

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