WHEN you look up at the midnight sky, what do you see?
Dark Sky Dreamings is a new anthology of works featuring 49 Australian writers who have gazed at our big inland sky and imagined new narrative paths to connect Heaven and Earth, our planet with its universe, and our inner worlds with the great beyond.
Most live or have lived on isolated farms, in country villages and towns or in the small cities of south-eastern Australia's inland and know this region well.
Others have visited the Inland from their homes on the continent's coastal fringe to be inspired by our vast daytime vistas and the full cosmic glory of our night skies which can only be experienced now from the most unpolluted and sparsely populated places.
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"This anthology beautifully tells the stories from the perspective of people who live on the land, and their connection to space in this most important of astronomical areas," Australian National University Research School of Astronomy and Astrophysics research fellow Brad Tucker said.
"From behind the scenes of some of the biggest astronomical events, to stories of viewing parts of our galaxy - views that billions of people across the world can no longer see - we gain an insight into a new universal reality as humans on our planet Earth, orbiting around our star, the Sun, in our galaxy, the Milky Way."
Red Room Poetry artistic director Tamryn Bennett said the many voices in Dark Sky Dreamings "speak to the canopy of stars that web our memories, carbon cells and spirit, reminding us that we share the same wide sky".
"Though each Skywriter charts a different astral track, , inviting us to see the universe anew," Ms Bennett said.
This celestial compendium connects us to something numinous.Tamryn Bennett
Merrill Findlay is a writer and cultural development practitioner who lives in Forbes.
Dark Sky Dreamings emerged from Merrill's Skywriters Project, part of the Big Skies Collaboration to catalyse new cultural and other opportunities for rural and remote communities through inland NSW and the ACT. Head to www.ipoz.biz/portfolio-single/dark-sky-dreamings/ or www.facebook.com/bigskiescollaboration/ for more details.