17 Aug Vale Alf Taylor
Vale Alf Taylor
It is with great sadness that we inform members of ASAL of the passing of Nyoongah poet and author Alfred (Alf) Taylor.
Alf was born in Perth in 1947 and as a young child was taken into New Norcia Mission, 130 kilometres north of Perth. He grew up in the mission, until he left as a fifteen-year-old in search for his mother. Despite the extreme indignity that Alf experienced during his childhood, writing became a salvation for him, and through it, and with his incredible generosity and humour, Alf provided profound insight into Aboriginal life, and the lives of members of the Stolen Generations. Alf was extremely appreciative for the role that writing played in enabling him to develop many precious relationships, especially with his beloved friends at Magabala Books, and the ability writing provided him to travel and to connect with people around the world.
Through his love of sport, especially the West Coast Eagles, his humour and infectious laugh, Alf was celebrated for his gift in connecting with young Aboriginal men, embodying the value of scholarship, poetry, diplomacy, and story.
Alf’s most recent works include his autobiography ‘God, the Devil and Me,’ 2021 and ‘Cartwarra or What?’ Selected Poems and Short Stories 2022 shortlisted in the 2022 New South Wales Premier’s Literary Awards —Indigenous Writer’s Prize, and the 2023 highly commended Victorian Premier’s Literary Awards — Prize for Indigenous Writing.
Alf is now free of the experience of New Norcia Mission which he carried and shared with grace throughout his life.
– Jared Thomas
Alf Taylor Paris 2007, photographer: Peter Lavskis. Permission was given to post the photograph of Alf by his brother Ben Taylor.